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Can I Control My IBS with My Diet Alone?

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Can I Control My IBS with My Diet Alone?

Mar 01, 2024

Can the perfect diet solve your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? More importantly, how do you go about finding the perfect diet for you?

IBS is a gastrointestinal disease that affects the colon and shares many symptoms with irritable bowel disease (IBD) without causing lasting damage to the colon. Common symptoms associated with IBS include diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, gas, and bloating.

The cause of IBS is not fully known, but certain foods and stress can act as triggers. 

For women, changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle can also trigger a flare-up. Certain medications may have a negative impact as well. To help you out, our experts at Carolina Digestive Health Associates put together a guide explaining the role of dieting in managing IBS.

Understanding how your diet impacts your IBS

If you are suffering from IBS, know that triggers vary from one individual to another, meaning the best way to find out what foods aren’t good for you is to keep a symptoms diary. 

Most people with IBS have no issues digesting meat as long as it is not processed meat cooked in inflammatory vegetable oils. However, you may have issues processing dairy (particularly if you are lactose intolerant) and a lot of plant-based foods due to their fiber and carbohydrate content. Also, certain components found in otherwise healthy foods, such as capsaicin in hot peppers, can irritate the gut.

With IBS, it is worth noting if the following foods cause you symptoms:

  • High FODMAPs foods
  • Artificial sweeteners 
  • High-fiber foods 
  • Spicy foods 
  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Gluten 

Another way diet can impact your IBS is not just what you eat but when you eat and how much you eat. Smaller meals are usually recommended as they put less stress on your digestive system. 

Can diet really solve my IBS?

Our experts don’t deny the impact of the right diet (which often varies from individual to individual). Still, they want to warn their patients that not everyone can manage their symptoms via diet alone, and they aren’t doing something wrong if they still experience symptoms. As a matter of fact, patients suffering from IBS are more likely to suffer from an eating disorder. In other words, if your IBS is flaring up, don’t blame yourself, thinking that if you eat only the “right” things, your health will be perfect.

Keep in mind that many people can eat whatever they want without suffering from IBS, so your diet alone is not to blame. If your symptoms are out of control, contact us to schedule an appointment

Our experts do use diets to lessen IBS symptoms. Still, they also understand that strict diets are never the complete answer and that sometimes medications are necessary to increase your life quality.