Irritable bowel syndrome, as it is popularly known, is one of the most common and uncomfortable disorders, affecting between 10% and 20% of the population in developed countries.
And, although there is no specific test for diagnosing it, symptoms generally include abdominal pain, gas and episodes of diarrhea and/or constipation.
The worst thing about this disorder is that there is no easy solution, as the exact cause is unknown.
The majority of people have improved after changing their lifestyles and diets, although this is not a definitive solution.
Even so, we will give you some guidelines recommended by doctors and specialists, which will help you determine whether or not making these changes could help you.
What dietary changes to make
It is important to know that there is no universal diet in these cases, since every person is a separate world, but there are certain factors we can improve to see how our reaction to the symptoms change.
It is good to keep a record of what we eat and the symptoms we notice, to therefore have a more detailed list and understanding of how it is affecting us. It is important to:
– Eat at least three times a day, and not skip any meals.
– Have a small dinner early.
– Chew food well and slowly and calmly.
– Limit alcohol intake to two units a day and take at least two days off drinking every week.
– Reduce the intake of caffeine and fizzy sodas.
– Drink at least eight glasses of liquid a day, especially water.
– Try not to eat fast foods, potato chips, pizza and other foods with high fat content.
– Include fresh foods in our diets.
– Avoid tobacco.
– Reduce the amount of simple and complex sugars we eat, which are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as in milk and wheat. They pass through the stomach and small intestine without being modified, and are either fermented by bacteria–which releases gas–or expelled with fluids.
Control fiber intake
There are two types, soluble (which our body can digest) and insoluble (which our body cannot digest).
Soluble fiber is found in foods like fruit, root vegetables, potatoes and oats. The other is contained in wholewheat bread, cereals, walnuts and seeds. To prevent diarrhea, we should reduce insoluble fiber, as well as sweets, gum and soft drinks with the sweeteners sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol.
And if you are frequently constipated, you can increase the amount of soluble fiber, but do it slowly, as otherwise the symptoms may worsen.
They are simple and complex sugars found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as in milk and wheat.
Like always, a sedentary lifestyle can worsen all these conditions, and doing exercise can help alleviate the symptoms, since exercise contributes to digestion.
Be careful with stress
Nerves and stress are felt by many people in the stomach, causing upsets that can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome. Which is why it is good to try to keep stress under control.
We can try changing things in our lives, practice therapeutic methods like breathing and relaxation, or seek help through psychological support.
These basic techniques are actually things that can help us with many diseases. If we eat well and have an active lifestyle, our bodies will thank us.