Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. While IBS can be debilitating, you can get relief from its symptoms with proper knowledge and some simple lifestyle changes. This article will cover some nutrition tips that may help reduce your number of flare-ups every day. Let's look at ten foods that have been proven to help people manage their irritable bowel syndrome!

What is IBS, and how common is it?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the digestive system. It's one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, affecting 1 in 5 people worldwide. While the cause of IBS is unknown, it's thought to be related to a combination of factors, including diet, stress, and genetics. IBS can cause a wide range of symptoms.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

IBS symptoms vary from person to person but can generally be classified into two categories: constipation-predominant or diarrhea-predominant. Some people may experience alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhea, while others may only have one type of symptom. The most common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling like you need to go to the bathroom urgently, even if you don't have to go
  • Reduced appetite
  • Stress

How is IBS diagnosed?

If you're experiencing some of the above symptoms, your doctor may perform a series of tests to diagnose IBS. These tests can include a physical exam, blood tests, and stool tests. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend a colonoscopy or other imaging tests to get a better view of your digestive system.

What are the treatments for IBS?

While there is no cure for IBS, several treatments can provide relief from its symptoms. These treatments include changes to your diet, lifestyle, and medications. Some people may also require surgery to correct a structural problem in their digestive system.

One of the most important ways to manage your IBS is through diet. You should avoid some foods if you have IBS; if you're not sure what foods trigger your symptoms, it's essential to keep a food journal and track what you eat and how you feel afterward.

10 foods that help fight IBS flare-ups

Several foods have been proven to help people manage their irritable bowel syndrome. Here are the ten most effective foods:

1. Probiotics – are beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. They can be found in yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods, as well as supplements. Probiotics have been shown to help reduce IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain and cramps, bloating, and gas.

2. Leafy Greens – such as kale, spinach, and romaine are high in fiber and nutrients and help manage IBS symptoms. They're also low in calories, making them a good choice if you're trying to lose weight. 

3. Bananas – are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. They can help reduce constipation and diarrhea and are a good snack choice for people with IBS. 

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – are found in fish oil supplements and foods like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds. They help keep your gut health and reduce inflammation, which may help relieve IBS symptoms.

5. Ginger – is a spice that helps manage IBS symptoms. It can be added to food or taken as a supplement. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and may help relieve nausea, abdominal pain, and cramps. 

6. Peppermint – has antispasmodic and carminative properties, which help to relieve abdominal pain and cramps.

7. Coconut Oil – is a healthy oil with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can be used in cooking or taken as a supplement. Some people find that coconut oil helps reduce IBS symptoms.

8. Quinoa – is a grain high in fiber, magnesium, and protein. It can help regulate bowel movements and reduce constipation and diarrhea.

9. Fermented Foods – like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt are high in probiotics and beneficial bacteria. They can help keep your gut healthy and may reduce IBS symptoms.

10. Water – It's essential to drink plenty of water every day, especially if you have IBS. Dehydration can aggravate IBS symptoms. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated.

If you're looking for relief from your IBS, try incorporating some of these foods into your diet. You may find that they make a big difference in how you feel.

Carolina Digestive Can Help Your Gut Health

Our team will be happy to work with you to create a prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategy. Contact us today; we treat all gastrointestinal issues and disorders with quality, comprehensive care.