Our expert says:
I am so sorry to hear that your 10-year-old daughter suffers from IBS. Because of her young age I would recommend that you take her to see a registered dietitian who will work out a specific diet prescription for her condition. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area.Two of the most important factors in IBS are a lack of dietary fibre and stress. To increase her dietary fibre intake and obtain tips about this condition, click on ‘Diet'nFood’, ‘You are what you eat’ and “Healthy GI tract’. If your child suffers from flatulence and bloating, you will have to experiment with the foods she eats that may cause problems with a spastic colon (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, fruits that contain pips such as guavas, figs, etc). This is often an individual reaction and you will have to help her to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out.
To relieve stress I would recommend that your daughter should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension. If she is a very tense child, then consulting a clinical psychologist could help to identify what is stressing her and assist her to learn coping techniques.
Holding thumbs for both of you
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