Foods & Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The Connection Between Foods & Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There's a common misconception that says foods cause irritable bowel
syndrome. It says that the main connection between foods & irritable
bowel syndrome is the fact that the illness is caused by eating certain
foods. However, this is not true. Irritable bowel syndrome is a
functional disorder which means that the illness lies in the function of
your bowels and not in the food that you eat. In fact, there is still no
known cause of irritable bowel syndrome.
This leaves us with the question: what exactly is the connection between
foods & irritable bowel syndrome?
First of all, even though foods are not the cause of irritable bowel
syndrome, certain foods will trigger its symptoms. This includes
abdominal pains, diarrhea or constipation, and sudden changes in stool
frequency. Here are foods that can trigger these symptoms:
1) Foods with high fat-content– A person suffering from irritable bowel
syndrome should try to keep the fat content of his or her food below 25
percent. This is because fat is simply the best (or worst) stimulant of
digestion. When fat is introduced into your stomach, it immediately
triggers your colon to start contracting. Since irritable bowel syndrome
has more to do with the function of the intestines, this sort of reaction
will trigger the symptoms of this illness.
2) Coffee – Don't think that this does not include decaf! Many people do
not know that decaf coffee still contains an enzyme that can irritate the
gut. However, drinking regular coffee can be even worse, as caffeine is
also an irritant. Put plainly, drinking coffee if you have irritable
bowel syndrome would be akin to inviting pain into your life.
3) Alcohol – This is actually okay in small amounts like the amount used
for cooking. However, it can be a very effective irritant especially if
it is drunk on an empty stomach.
This, of course is not the sole connection between foods & irritable
bowel syndrome. If there are foods that trigger irritable bowel syndrome,
there are also foods that help minimize the symptoms.
Try eating foods with high soluble fiber content. Eating this type of
food would aid the proper digestion of food. Some people are put off by
the idea of eating soluble fiber mainly because it is said to be a
laxative. However, soluble fiber is actually more of a stabilizer. It
helps prevent both diarrhea and constipation.
People often tend to see the negative side of a relationship such as that
between foods & irritable bowel syndrome. However, it should be stated
that food per se will not trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel
syndrome. A person with irritable bowel syndrome only needs to find the
right types of food in order to minimize the symptoms of this illness.
Foods & irritable bowel syndrome need balance in order to benefit a
person. Take insoluble fiber, for instance: many people know that
insoluble fiber is a trigger for irritable bowel syndrome. However, it is
also widely known that insoluble fiber can be found in fruits and
vegetables –all healthy foods. A person is then faced with the dilemma of
choosing between the nutrition provided by insoluble fiber foods and the
pain caused by them.
However, by eating these foods with a quantity of soluble fiber, a person
can easily avoid the pain of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and
still get the nourishment that he or she needs. And that is the
connection between foods & irritable bowel syndrome.