Increasing dietary fiber with fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts and limiting the amount of milk and cheese consumed is suggested for treating irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, according to WebMD. Individuals should also avoid chocolate and caffeine in coffee, teas and sodas.Continue Reading
If increasing fiber worsens symptoms and causes frequent gas and diarrhea, IBS sufferers should concentrate on sources of soluble fiber found in foods such as apples, berries, carrots and oatmeal, suggests Healthline. Soluble fiber dissolves in water instead of adding extra bulk associated with insoluble fiber. Eliminating barley, rye and wheat and following a gluten-free diet may reduce symptoms. Individuals should avoid fatty foods, such as fried foods and animal fats, and eat lean meats instead.
Common IBS symptoms include diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain or cramps, usually in the lower half of the abdomen, that are aggravated by meals and relieved by having a bowel movement, explains WebMD. Excess gas or bloating and visible abdominal distension are frequent symptoms. Studies suggest that in IBS, the colon is hypersensitive, overreacting to mild stimulation by going into spasms. The spasms can cause either diarrhea or constipation. There may be a hormonal component involved in IBS, as it occurs in women much more frequently than in men, but studies have not confirmed this.Learn more about Nutrition & Diets