Our expert says:
IBS can manifest in different ways, as IBS with constipation and IBS with diarrhoea. There is no specific list of foods that will affect all IBS patients. One of the most important factors in IBS stress. Patients who suffer from IBS with constipation will need to increase their dietary fibre content, while patients with IBS with diarrhoea should avoid high-fibre foods. To increase your dietary fibre intake and obtain tips about this condition, click on ‘DietnFood’ at the top of this page, ‘You are what you eat’ and “Healthy GI tract’. Read the articles on ‘Probiotics’ too because the use of ‘good microorganisms’ can help a lot in all types of IBS. Try Bifidoflora which you can buy at health shops. If you suffer from flatulence and bloating, you will have to experiment with the foods you eat 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 keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is a problem for you, please consult a registered dietitian who will work out a specific diet for your 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). Your doctor will also be able to prescribe medicines which can relieve the flatulence such as Bevispas, so chat to your doctor about such medications.
To relieve stress which plays a role in all types of IBS, I would recommend that you 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.
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