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Diet for IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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IBS Diet

How important is diet to IBS ?  This is a question which would receive very different answers depending on who you asked.  Many sufferers will have found that they have tried various diets and none have worked.  They will be reticent about the very notion that diet can help.

Others will have found or discovered a diet which works for them and swear by it.  Whether or not sufferers like to admit it, diet plays a major factor. Even those who feel it does not make a difference will have trigger foods, which they avoid thus suggesting that diet was very important after all.  Diet is only one element in treating IBS, but it can be pivotal.

The Importance of IBS Diet

If you had a wound would you pour acid on it?  Would you pour salt on it? Would you pour astringent chemicals on it?  If you replaced those items for the types of food and drink we regularly consume, it becomes clear how harmful they may be. For acid think the citric acid in orange juice, for salt think bacon, and for astringent chemicals think caffeine in tea and coffee.

Restricting known IBS trigger foods is a great way to proceed when looking at your diet.  We have devoted a page to ‘Foods to avoid’ as this is such a key area.  Awareness of trigger foods will have the swiftest effect on your IBS.  Avoiding caffeine for example  can work wonders for those who suffer high motility.

While restriction may seem like a frustrating way to start tackling your IBS, it is worth remembering that all healthy diets are restricted.  Most of us would love to dine on doughnuts and ice cream, however we restrict those.  Think of the potential life benefits of a healthy and well planned diet, rather than thinking about the things you are missing.

We suggest that the first point of call is to go to a diet using food such as those listed on our friendly food page, before re-introducing foods gradually to ascertain which are the ones causing the greatest irritations. You will also be able to decide which foods can be enjoyed and importantly when.

This can be a wonderfully illuminating period.  When you go through a restriction diet properly, you will quickly discover which foods are the ones causing you the greatest discomfort.  It is wise to take notes as you go through this process, to ensure that you correctly link the symptoms.  Where possible, we recommend the assistance of a Registered Dietician, as it is vital that you do not restrict your diet to the detriment of your health.  

IBS Diet - The Revolution

Since we originally wrote this piece, the world of IBS diet has been somewhat turned on it’s head.  The primary reason for this has been the explosion of the Low FODMAP diet.  This particular IBS diet has given a scientific foundation to what is a restriction diet.

The low FODMAP diet has been very successful and has been adopted as the IBS diet of choice as many.  Of the IBS diet that we have tried we would certainly concur.  It will nt work for all, however it is a very good IBS diet and will work for many.

Alongside the low FODMAP diet we have seen the arrival of the Paleo diet.  We are currently both researching and trying this diet, so we will get back to you when we feel able to speak with more authority on this particular IBS diet.  It is certainly worth checking out, as it has a growing legion of followers.

There are also older IBS diets such as the Hay diet and the Mayr Diet which may be worth investigating.  Many principles of the Mayr diet make an awful lot of common sense and may be worth incorporating into your own IBS diet.  They include simple practices such as chewing your food slowly to ease the burden on your digestive system, which is surprisingly effective.  Over the coming months we will be expanding the range of information regarding IBS Diets as it continues to grow.

In Conclusion

This is an exciting time for IBS diets much more is now known about IBS diet, and diet in general.  This can only assist us all in our battles with IBS.  With that said, we still warn IBS sufferers that diet alone may not help.  With so many psychological issues associated and physical factors to consider it is worth remembering that a good IBS diet is just one of the many things you may need to look at to gain control of your IBS.  We believe that good diet is the cornerstone of a good and healthy life, we heartily recommend that implementing a good IBS diet is nothing but a win win scenario.