One in five Northern Americans has irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS), which makes it one of the most common disorders
diagnosed today. Irritable bowel syndrome usually hits the
person around age 20 and is more common among women than in
Irritable bowel syndrome is actually a disease, although
doctors consider it a functional disorder. However, even though
the syndrome can cause considerable pain and discomfort, it does
not actually damage the digestive system.
Irritable bowel syndrome disturbs the normal functions of the
colon, particularly how the muscles in the intestines work,
causing a lot of embarrassment and pain. Irritable bowel
syndrome does not cause internal bleeding, but may worsen a
medical condition if you already have one.
No one really knows why certain people develop IBS. Researchers
believe that people with Irritable bowel syndrome have sensitive
colons that react to aggravating foods and certain emotional
conditions, most commonly, to stress, conflict, or upsets.
Antidepressants are often used to relieve stress-related
irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Some doctors link colon
sensitivity to weak immune systems.
No cure has been found yet for irritable bowel syndrome. Your
doctor might prescribe fiber supplements or occasional
laxatives to ease constipation, as well as medicines to help
with diarrhea, or drugs that calm down abdominal pain, but
careful eating is the most important step in reducing irritable
bowel syndrome symptoms. Many irritable bowel syndrome sufferers
can successfully control their symptoms with simple diet
changes. Quite often, when you increase your fiber intake,
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are relieved.
Eating more fiber can be easier than you think. Whole grain
breads and cereals, fruits, and vegetables are both delicious
and rich in healthy fiber. Fiber-rich diet results in regular
bowel movements and better colon cleansing. However, fiber will
make you feel worse if you have pain or diarrhea because
high-fiber diets may cause some discomfort at first, but do not
panic. You simply need a few days to adjust to the new diet.
Positive changes take time if your colon is more irritated than
When starting fiber-rich diet, stick to plain foods like white
rice, plain unflavored oatmeal, rice cereal, pasta, peeled
potatoes. Incorporate insoluble fibers carefully by blending
fresh fruit with soy or rice milk making delicious and
nutritious cocktails. You can always add vegetables into soups
or pasta sauces. Grilled, not fried, fish filet or low-fat
chicken breast goes well with your pasta or rice. Eat fruits
and vegetables as much as possible. To increase fiber intake,
drink psyllium or flaxseed dissolved in water, such as Citrucel
In general, try eating foods that are low in fat and high in
carbohydrates, such as whole grain pasta and breads,
unprocessed (not quick-cooking) rice and cereals. Avoid food
that is high in fat, insoluble fiber, caffeine, coffee,
carbonation, or alcohol.
When relieving irritable bowel syndrome symptoms through
dietary means, you should keep your water intake at a maximum.
Water prevents dehydration, especially if you have diarrhea.
Drink plain water. Carbonated drinks, such as sodas, may result
in increased levels of gas and cause pain in the abdomen.
Irritable bowel syndrome may require you to change the way you
eat your meals. Big portions of food can cause cramping and
diarrhea. To prevent these occurrences eat smaller portions and
plan your meals so that you eat more frequently. Less food
requires less effort from your bowels, so the message is to eat
little and often.
When following these simple diet guidelines people can start
living a normal, happy, outgoing life. Diarrhea and pain should
reduce in just a few days. Constipation, however, can take
several weeks to relieve, but it is worth persevering. Besides,
you will look and feel healthier, too!
About The Author: Kathryn writes articles on a number of
different topics. For more information on IBS please visit
http://www.irritablebowelsyndromeguide.info and for additional
articles on Irritable Bowel Syndrome