The passing stool is a normal function but for some people, this may be quite uncomfortable. Signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include constipation, diarrhea, pain, bloating, and gas the diet a person follows plays a key role in managing and treating this condition. This is because some foods are difficult to digest and can irritate the digestive system. Here are a few foods that must be avoided by IBS patients.
Most people with IBS are lactose intolerant. Milk also contains fat that can aggravate diarrhea. Thus, it is best to avoid all dairy products. If you aren’t lactose intolerant, you could switch to non-fat or low-fat products. Alternatively, you could consider alternatives such as soy milk or almond milk.
- Insoluble fiber
Fiber is essential for a wholesome diet but insoluble fiber can aggravate conditions such as diarrhea for people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While oatmeal, barley, root vegetables such as parsnips and carrots, legumes and fruits such as oranges and mangoes have soluble fiber, whole wheat, nuts, bran, cauliflower, green beans, and potatoes should be avoided since they contain insoluble fiber.
- Fried foods
Frying is probably the worst form of cooking. When food is fried in oil at high temperatures, the chemical makeup of food may be changed. This makes it difficult to digest. Fried food is also high in fat and this too makes digestion difficult. Instead of frying, consider baking, grilling or steaming.
- Caffeinated drinks
Coffee has a stimulating effect on the digestive system. For this reason, many people start their day with a cup of coffee. However, this stimulation can trigger diarrhea in people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Hence, it is best to avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks. This includes most sodas and energy drinks.
Most people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are gluten intolerant. Thus, consuming wheat, barley or rye that contains gluten can worsen IBS symptoms. Gluten is an easy thing to avoid since it is found mainly in processed foods such as pasta, pizzas, cookies, and cake. The best part is that you can make gluten-free versions of these foods at home.
- Sugar-free sweeteners
Choosing sugar-free alternatives is not always the healthiest choice especially when it comes to people suffering from IBS. The sweeteners used in these sugar-free alternatives contain ingredients such as potassium, aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame that are hard for the body to digest and absorb. These ingredients are found not only in processed foods but also in mouthwashes, candies, and gums. Hence, check the label carefully before buying any such products.
The way your body digests alcohol can often trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While beer contains gluten, wines and other cocktails have high concentrations of sugar. Alcohol can also cause dehydration and worsen constipation.
Chocolate has high concentrations of sugar and caffeine- two elements that are hard to digest for IBS patients. Eating chocolate often causes constipation. If you have a sweet tooth and cannot avoid chocolate, consider vegan alternatives that may be easier to digest.