IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) changes the way you have to approach your eating habits. Your doctor, once he diagnoses you with IBS, will likely tell you to change the way you eat. That’s because most IBS is caused by eating particular foods. Certain types of foods trigger either constipation or diarrhoea.
Other things may trigger IBS as well, such as stress. Whatever that trigger may be, avoiding it is going to be the best way to fight IBS.
While your doctor may recommend that you take some medication (such as Colofac or Fybogel) to help with IBS, it may not be the best tool to combat the problem. Probiotics are only occasionally recommended for this condition, and they haven’t been fully proven to be effective against it. Medications like laxative and anti-motility medicines only treat a single symptom of IBS. They don’t affect the root cause. The best way to treat the root problem is to change your diet. The only way to avoid the symptoms altogether is to avoid your triggers.
That’s why medication, while often helpful for combating symptoms, is not the most effective method for dealing with IBS. It may be necessary to use certain medications for a while, though, since it can take some time to get your IBS under control through trigger avoidance and diet control. The medication acts right away, while diet changes can take some time to take effect.
Your doctor will do his best to find out which foods trigger your IBS. Certain foods are known to cause the problem, but the exact list of foods can be different for everyone.
In general, dairy products, greasy foods, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods are the key trigger foods to avoid in the fight against IBS. These foods are ones that people are commonly known to be sensitive to. You should know that having food sensitivity isn’t the same as having a food allergy, primarily because the symptoms are so different.
Your doctor may not be able to discover precisely which foods those are for you, and it may take some time to narrow down the list and determine which foods you should be avoiding. However, just because you have a sensitivity to certain foods, that doesn’t mean you can never enjoy them again. You may just need to eat smaller portions, have plenty of water before your meals and prepare the foods differently so that they are easier on your digestive system.
It can also help to add certain foods to your diet, such as fibre-rich foods, fruits and vegetables and those containing essential vitamins and minerals. Also, adding in probiotic foods, such as yoghurt, may be able to help balance out the bacteria in your gut.
By changing up your diet and eating healthier foods or those that are geared toward good digestive health, you may be able to reduce the symptoms of IBS to such low levels that they are hardly noticeable anymore.
You won’t be able to cure the condition this way, since there is no cure. However, you will at least be able to get it under control. There is no other method for IBS treatment that is as effective as changing your diet to something that improves digestive health and avoids food triggers.