There is no single best diet that works best for all people with irritable bowel syndrome. This is reasonable because the list of triggers foods that can set off IBS also vary from patient to patient. Therefore if you have this syndrome, you may need to take a trial process before finding the best diet that works well to cope with your spastic colon (another alternative name of irritable bowel syndrome ).
By planning steps to manage the symptoms of spastic colon, it is possible to improve your productivity and overall health. Your doctor should provide you a completely guide of treatment plant that you should follow to prevent and manage your spastic colon symptoms.
How your diet should go?
In general, doctors classify this syndrome based on the cluster of signs and symptoms experienced by patient. This include spastic colon with alternating constipation & diarrhea, spastic colon with diarrhea (abdominal pain /discomfort, urgency, and watery stools from bowel movement ‘diarrhea’), or spastic colon with constipation (abdominal pain /discomfort, bloating, and harder stools from bowel movement ‘constipation’).
For each of these classifications, there are about an equal number of patients. By knowing the type of spastic colon that you suffer from, your doctor can give the best treatment plan to cope with the problem. That’s why, it is important for you to be candid to tell all of your symptoms to your doctors.
Foods that you eat are not the cause of spastic colon and many experts have confirmed this issue. But it’s clear that some of them may worsen the symptoms. To stave off the symptoms and discomfort of IBS, you need to find the trigger foods as much as possible then avoid them in your diet!
Read the label of foods that you want to eat, even read also carefully the label of each counter medicine that you choose and use! Keep a symptom & food diary to help you have track of foods that you eat (particularly some that you suspect can worsen the symptoms). Read more advice of natural ways to cope with this syndrome on this section!
The list of foods you need to avoid if you have IBS
As mentioned before, the triggers foods for spastic colon vary from person to person. However, there are some common foods that often not recommended for people with IBS. And the following are some of them!
Most patients find that some dairy products worsen their spastic colon symptoms (such as constipation and diarrhea). Generally, doctors don’t recommend butter, ice cream, milk, cheese, or other some dairy products for patients with IBS.
According to NIH, the consumption of dairy products (especially if consumed too much) can lead to negative reactions with the digestive system which then may cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort – this even occurs for people without lactose intolerant problem. Furthermore, diary components like whey, casein, milk fat, and lactose also should be restricted!
List of beverages you need to avoid!
Generally, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks can trigger the symptoms of spastic colon. Therefore, most patients usually avoid them.
These beverages are often associated with the symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort /pain. Depending on the symptom that occurs, sometime doctors also ask their patients to avoid foods and drinks with fructose, or the sugar substitute sorbitol /artificial fat.
Chocolate and fats – Should you avoid them?
Caffeine and fat from chocolate may lead to colonic contractions in some patients. These contractions then can cause abdominal pain and discomfort. But cocoa powder may be safe for you, it is fat-free.
Foods high in fat also cause colonic contractions in some people with IBS. They are difficult to be digested in the intestines, particularly for people with spastic colon. Therefore, it is important to eat them in moderation (don’t go too much) or avoid them for better result. If you eat them, make sure you also get plenty of fiber from your diet – this idea can help normalize the bad effect of fat.
What is kind of carbohydrate you need to avoid?
There is no single answer for this question. If you wonder whether there is a certain type of carbohydrate that worsens the symptoms, your doctor may recommend FODMAPS diet. The goal of this kind of diet is to find a specific carbohydrate that can trigger the symptoms and to determine the most varied /liberal diet that can help manage the IBS symptoms.
In FODMAPS, there 5 major types of carbohydrate that will be analyzed – they are galactans, lactose, fructose, sugar alcohols, and fructans. This trial of diet may take about one to two weeks.
Fortunately, most patients usually still can eat their favorite foods (no matter what the result of FODMAPS) if they exercise care. For instance, a patient who find that wheat (it contain fructans) leads to a lot of distress may be still able to tolerate eating wheat but in the right portion – discuss with a doctor for more advice!
Another list of common trigger foods
Again, there are a wide range of trigger foods for people with irritable bowel syndrome. Below are some of them that may trigger or worsen the IBS symptoms:
- Gassy foods – they can trigger the abdominal bloating and gas! Garlic, cabbage, beans, broccoli, and onions are some gassy foods. Brussels sprouts also should be restricted /avoided if you have bloating, because they also can produce more gas in the intestines.
- Fried foods! Always remember that any foods that are deep fried will be bad for the gut, even for people without spastic colon.
- Red meat – another list you need to avoid! It is not only high in fat that will be bad for your IBS but also may increase the risk of hypertension and heart disease if you consume it too much!
- Too much fiber a day: Fiber is important for people with spastic colon, but make sure you go with it in moderation! Eating too much fiber will be counterproductive to cope with your problem, because this may trigger diarrhea. Moreover if you have poor fiber diet, ensure you gradually increase your fiber until you get the appropriate amount of fiber a day that meets to your body!
- Gluten foods (such as crackers, bread, and pasta). While some patients find that gluten foods worsen the symptoms, others don’t. This means that not all people with IBS need to avoid gluten foods.
- Beware to any foods that contain molds and yeasts! Some patients find that yeast breads, cheese, dried fruits, or even wine can trigger the symptoms.
- Certain fruits and vegetables. As well we know that fruits and vegetables are great for overall health. But for some people with spastic colon, there are also some certain vegetables and fruits that can trigger the symptoms (particularly if consumed too much), these may include beans, peas, and oats (nevertheless sometime these foods can help improve and ease constipation in some people with IBS).
What else you need to concern?
Don’t only focus the kinds of foods that you eat. You need also to concern about how to eat your foods properly in order to cope with IBS. In general, patients also should avoid the following conditions:
- Chewing gum.
- Eating while driving /working also should be avoided.
- Don’t eat your foods too quickly – chew any foods that you eat as well!
Additionally, if the diarrhea of spastic colon strikes – increase gradually the intake of your soluble fiber. But if constipation, choose to eat more insoluble fiber instead of soluble fiber. However, make sure to consume both types of fiber in moderation!
Now you know that sometimes the list of foods you need to avoid are closely associated with the symptom that occurs. Irritable bowel syndrome may be categorized into a lifelong condition. But with the right strategies, it should be able to be managed and will not significantly affect your activities.