Natural Health Reference related Irritable Bowel Syndrome links:
- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
- IBS Trigger Foods
- Best Foods for IBS
- IBS Diet Plans
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Fructose-Restricted Diet
- Help for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Diet Plan is more about avoiding your personal trigger foods . . .
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than about specific nutrients that will help alleviate your symptoms. You’ll find 2 IBS diet plans below. (You can find the details on IBS health and complete instructions on Elimination Diet in Joy Bauer’s Food Cures. Her book is highly recommended if you’re suffering from IBS. It also includes grocery list, meal plans, snacks and recipes. You follow her IBS 4-step program if you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.)
Whichever plan you follow, after about a week you’ll be ready to test some of the potential trigger foods. Joy recommends trying one new food every two to three days, and carefully documenting what you eat and how you feel during the 24 hours afterward.
These elimination diet plans are only for very severe cases of IBS.
For less debilitating IBS feel free to skip the elimination meal plan altogether and go straight to keeping an IBS journal. Your journal should list exactly what you eat, when you eat, what symptoms you experience, as well as your emotional state for the day. Make a special note if you feel particularly tense, anxious, or stressed.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet Plan: Extreme Elimination Diet – No Fiber
(For severe diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome) For people with extreme IBS, the simplest way to identify the right trigger foods is to first follow an elimination diet for five to seven days — a meal plan which avoids all potential offending foods — plus all fiber including soluble fiber, then slowly reintroduce those same foods one by one. Along the way you keep track of reactions to foods you are reintroducing in a food diary.
If you have diarrhea-predominant IBS, Joy Bauer recommends slowly adding more foods high in soluble fiber to your diet. If you experience to much bloating or pain, back off a little, wait a few days, then add fiber again. The key is to eat just a little bit of extra fiber, building up to about six servings a day over a course of weeks, not days.
And if you’re ready to follow the less extreme Elimination Diet with Added Fiber, you may want to move more slowly . . . starting with a single serving for the entire day. In addition, raw vegetables — whether rich in soluble OR insoluble fiber — tend to be difficult for IBS sufferers to digest and can often trigger diarrhea, gas, and bloating. When you’re ready to introduce vegetables into your diet, Bauer strongly recommends you stick to cooked vegetables.
- All people with IBS should strive to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of flat water every day.
- If diarrhea is your problem, you’ll need to replenish the water you lose through loose stools. Plain water and naturally decaffeinated herbal teas should be your first choices.
- If you have diarrhea-predominant IBS, you’ll also want to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol, which can stimulate the intestines and make symptoms worst.
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2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet Plan: Elimination Diet with Added Fiber
(For severe-constipation Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and follow-up for the extreme elimination diet) If you have severe constipation-predominant IBS, your elimination diet will avoid all trigger foods, but incorporate foods rich in soluble fiber and small amounts of insoluble fiber. The addition of soluble fiber can help encourage your intestines to “wave” more effectively.
However, for constipation-predominant IBS, you can be more aggressive fiber wise. The Elimination Diet with Added Fiber (for constipation-predominant IBS) works in three to six (or more) daily portions of soluble fiber, depending upon the meals and snacks you chose. Of course, even then you’ll want to moderate the portions and spread them throughout the day — as opposed to eating them all at one setting — to avoid the risk of excess gas. And remember to drink plenty of water to help move it along.
- Strive to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of plain water every day.
- If constipation is your problem, water will help keep your stools moist so they pass more easily; the soluble fiber in your diet will help too.
Read Next: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Fructose-Restricted Diet
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Source: Excerpts are taken from Joy Bauer’s book: Food Cures, pp. 391, 394, 398, 411