When you are experiencing IBS pain, it can be hard to face the idea of food, but you know that you have to eat. It may help to ease some anxiety to know that by making some changes as to how you eat, you may actually help to ease the symptoms of abdominal pain and cramping. Keep these three easy guidelines in mind as you make your food choices throughout your day:
1. Avoid Fatty Foods
Fatty foods contain substances that can exaggerate the strength of intestinal contractions, thus resulting in increased pain and cramping. Aim to eat low-fat meals, avoiding anything greasy, fried or fatty.
2. Eat Small Meals
Large meals can also strengthen intestinal contractions. Aim to eat small meals frequently throughout your day so as to not strain your system.
3. On Bad Days, Minimize Your Intake of Gas-producing Foods
Foods that produce intestinal gas can contribute to abdominal pain and cramping. Unfortunately, these same foods tend to have high nutritional benefits. It is therefore not a good idea to eat an overly restrictive diet on a regular basis. However, on days in which your pain is particularly bothersome, you might want to try to eat non-gassy foods and avoid those that are more likely to produce gas. The following articles will help you to know which is which:
If you find that bloating and gas tend to contribute to your IBS pain on a regular basis, then you may want to look into the use of the low FODMAPs diet. This diet has research support in terms of easing these symptoms for IBS patients:
- The FODMAPs Diet Theory for IBS
- Effectiveness of a Low FODMAPs Diet for IBS
- Foods on the FODMAPs Diet
Be sure to call a doctor for any significant worsening of your cramping (beyond your regular pattern), or for associated symptoms of vomiting, fever, bloody or black stools or inability to pass gas.
Sjolund, K., Ekman, R., Lindgren, S. & Rehfeld, J. “Disturbed motilin and cholecystokinin release in the irritable bowel syndrome.” Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 1996 31:1110-1114.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.