Treating IBS Is Still A Case By Case Basis
Irritable bowel syndrome is a highly uncomfortable and sometimes painful disorder that can make it quite difficult to eat the foods that you enjoy without getting sick afterwards. Symptoms vary from person to person with bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation being among them. The syndrome affects roughly fifteen perfect of the adult population in the United States and unfortunately there is no uniform therapy that works for all patients. Medical News Today explains:“Despite a large number of published studies on IBS therapies, in most cases, the quality of available data and or the balance of risks and benefits for a particular therapy did not overwhelmingly support the use of particular drugs. Additionally, there are no studies comparing the effectiveness of commonly used drugs to each other nor is there data comparing combinations of therapies to placebo or to each other.”
Eating habits, diet, weight, and various other statistics can alter the effectiveness of drugs and other treatments which work to alleviate and prevent discomfort. In most cases, doctors and nutritionists will prescribe a specific nutritional guide, which lists foods to avoid.
Staying Away From Agitating Foods
While there isn’t a list of foods that all IBS sufferers can eat safely without a reaction, there are a few that cause particularly negative results for most. Fresh vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and various other items which may cause gassiness in those who do not have IBS can make these symptoms much worse for those who do. Many sugary foods should also be avoided. Web MD writes: “Avoid chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, the artificial sweetener sorbitol (found in sugarless gum and mints), and fructose (the simple sugar found in honey and many fruits). These can worsen diarrhea symptoms. Your eating history can help you determine if any of these are triggers for your symptoms.”
On top of this, sufferers of IBS report that foods which harbour large amounts of grease, MSG, and other unhealthy ingredients tend to cause the same inflammation and gassiness as the above mentioned items. Deep fried chicken, fast food, pizza, French fries, and spicy foods are all on the “do not eat” list, with carbonated beverages and dairy making it nearly impossible to enjoy the things that other do. Something that some IBS patients opt for is treating themselves once a month with a meal of this kind, rather than suffering through it week after week. Others choose to forego any foods which cause uncomfortable symptoms to occur, narrowing their diet to the basics.
A Silver Lining At Last
While there is still nothing that will work 100% for any one individual, there are a variety of ways that you can ease symptoms and avoid them as time goes on. One of these methods is by increasing your intake of probiotics and fibre supplements to more naturally regulate your digestive system and help keep things flowing properly as you eat. The Mayo Clinic reports: “Taking fiber supplements, such as psyllium (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel), with fluids may help control constipation. Fiber obtained from food may cause much more bloating compared with a fiber supplement. If fiber doesn’t help symptoms, your doctor may prescribe an osmotic laxative such as milk of magnesia or polyethylene glycol.”
People with IBS need to be very careful when considering medications or laxatives to treat their condition because different foods may work with a laxative to create even more discomfort. There is also the problem of balancing laxatives and antidiarrheal medication depending on your symptom at any given moment. This can create more havoc on your stomach and be more trouble than it is worth over time.
Other digestive aids such as herbal teas, and ginger can be helpful in treating IBS, drinking plenty of water is also a necessity. Allowing yourself to drink milk, juice, or soda rather than water can not only cause further discomfort, but dehydrate you over time, especially if you are dealing with diarrhea.
Don’t Hold It In
While it may not be pretty, one thing that can worsen IBS symptoms is holding in gas or bathroom waste that should be expelled. This can cause further pain and embarrassment if it isn’t taken care of the way that your body needs it to be.
Taking frequent bathroom breaks is better than trying to be like the person next to you who doesn’t suffer IBS symptoms. It may make you feel less like the odd man out, but it could affect your bowels in a negative way.
Consult Your Physician
Before you make any drastic changes to your diet or begin cutting out foods, especially certain fruits and vegetables, it is important to speak to your doctor about your condition and other possible treatment options. Even if he or she does suggest that you go onto a strict diet with select ingredients, a multi-vitamin and other supplements may be necessary to keep your body at a healthy level.
The search for an overall cure from IBS symptoms may not be looming on the horizon, but there are certainly a variety of ways which sufferers can now make their symptoms more manageable. Keep your intake of unhealthy foods and those items which cause gassiness to a minimum, and focus more on including whole unprocessed ingredients into your pantry.
Whether you choose to go the natural route or ask your doctor to supply you with a few different medicinal options, there are ways to help you get through the day without announcing to the world that you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.