Did you know that there are “between 2.4 and 3.5 million annual physician visits for IBS in the United States alone. 35% to 40% of individuals who report IBS are male and approximately 60% to 65% of individuals who report IBS are female. This leads to an increased risk of unnecessary surgery for extra-abdominal and abdominal surgery in IBS patients, for example, hysterectomy or ovarian surgery has been reported in female patients with IBS as high as 47% to 55%.1
All for what? Eating the wrong foods that are processed, full of chemicals, additives, preservatives and toxins that are detrimental to your health?
If you suffer from IBS, please avoid the following foods:
Conventional dairy and meats– Pasteurized dairy can be hard to digest and can make digestive symptoms worse. Non- organic, GMO grain/soy/corn fed, conventional dairy and meats consists of hormones, anti-biotics, bleaches, preservatives, imitation crab, bacon, egg substitute, egg whites, sausage, hot dogs, meatballs, ice creams, non- dairy creamers and low fat milks and yogurts et.
Gluten – A gluten-free diet that can help improve the symptoms of bowel disease, avoid all foods made with or containing wheat, barley, and rye. You also want to avoid foods that have malt/malt flavoring, soups, commercial broths, cold cut meats, French fries, flour, processed foods such as mayonnaise, ketchup, soy sauce, teriyaki sauces, salad dressing, cereals, breaded foods, puddings, hot dogs, root beer, beer, veggie burgers, et. Here are a list of ingredients to avoid that are disguised as gluten:2
- Avena sativa Cyclodextrin
- Fermented grain extract
- Hordeum distichon
- Hordeum vulgare
- Hydrolyzed malt extract
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Phytosphingosine extract
- Samino peptide complex
- Secale cereale
- Triticum aestivum
- Triticum vulgare
- Tocopherol/vitamin E
- Yeast extract
- Natural flavoring
- Brown rice syrup
- Modified food starch
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Caramel color (frequently made from barley)
Sugar and refined flour – Bacteria feeds off sugar and sugar reduces immune system functioning. Artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup all contribute to chronic inflammation leading to illness and disease.
Caffeine – Did you know that too much caffeine stimulates the digestive tract increasing inflammation. If you suffer from IBS, avoid at all costs. If you like to indulge in coffee, just make sure you are consuming an organic bean, as most processed coffees found in Starbucks, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, and other instant and low quality coffees carry high amounts of pesticides, molds, additives, and artificial sweeteners and colorings.
Any potential allergen – Diarrhea can result from food allergies, common culprits include gluten, nuts, shellfish, and dairy.
Spicy Foods – Hot and spicy foods can cause IBS symptoms to become worse fast.
Grains – Any type of whole grain will contain phytic acid and starch which can irritate the intestinal lining causing gut issues. Remember this includes what grain fed animals are eating. Still to grass fed organic hormone free meats without the GMOs.
Supplements to aid in IBS are the following 3 :
#1 Probiotics (50-100 billion units daily)
Probiotics can help re-colonize the gut with healthy bacteria. The most common and well-researched are species of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. Notably, IBS patients appear to have lower levels of both species compared to an otherwise healthy person
#2 Digestive Enzymes
These enzymes will help with nutrient absorption.
#3 L-glutamine powder
Glutamine is an amino acid that helps repair the digestive tract, especially important for people with chronic diarrhea.
#4 Fish oil (1000 mg daily)
The EPA/DHA in fish oil reduce inflammation in GI tract.
Coconut oil, slippery elm, ginger, peppermint oil and licorice root can also help soothe intestinal inflammation.
If you have IBD you may notice that times of stress will flare up this condition. Keep stress levels low by scheduling rest during the week, fun activities, and performing hobbies you enjoy. Make sure you are exercising regularly to reduce inflammation and your stress levels. Also mediation and yoga where you rest your mind will most definitely help. For a list of foods that will help aid in your IBS, go here.