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Is IBS Treatable With Diet Alone?

Is IBS Treatable With Diet Alone?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. IBS affects the large intestine causing a series of gastrointestinal issues and discomfort. Managing your diet, stress levels, and lifestyle may help control IBS symptoms, and Dr. Mashner of the Gut Authority can help. 

What is the Cause of IBS?

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but several factors seem to play a role in its onset, such as: 

  • Strong intestinal muscle contractions cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. 
  • Weak contractions in the intestine that slow the passage of food, leading to hard, dry stools.
  • Problems with the nerves in your digestive system that cause discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool. Improper communication between the brain and the intestines can alter the digestive process, resulting in pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Severe infection like gastroenteritis that is caused by bacteria or a virus 
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Stress or trauma, especially in childhood
  • Changes in gut microbes

What Are the Symptoms of IBS?

The symptoms of IBS aren’t always present, they may come and go. There are some people who experience uncomfortable symptoms on a regular basis. The common symptoms of IBS typically include:

  • cramping
  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • gas
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

It is common for individuals with IBS to have bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Symptoms such as bloating and gas usually resolve after you have a bowel movement. Some people may experience more severe symptoms, such as: 

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea at night
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency/anemia
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain that doesn’t go away after passing gas or having a bowel movement

What Foods Trigger IBS?

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is essential, especially if you suffer from IBS. You may notice that some foods trigger the uncomfortable symptoms of your IBS. If you suffer from  this illness, managing your diet can help you feel much better. Some foods you should avoid to help improve your IBS symptoms include:

  • Insoluble fiber, found in whole grain products and some vegetables
  • Gluten found in rye, wheat, and barley
  • Dairy
  • Beans 
  • Legumes
  • Fried foods
  • Caffeine
  • Processed foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Spicy foods

How to Manage IBS Symptoms?

The key to managing IBS is to make healthy lifestyle changes. The proper diet can make all the difference in keeping you comfortable and relieving symptoms. In addition to consuming the right foods, you also want to decrease portion sizes to avoid overeating. Be sure to drink plenty of water each day to prevent constipation and cramping. 

Other ways to reduce IBS symptoms include getting regular physical activity and reducing stress levels. Taking a daily probiotic is also beneficial for gut health and minimizing IBS symptoms. Quit harmful activities, like smoking cigarettes, to help improve your IBS symptoms. 

Does IBS Cause Cancer? 

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with IBS, you may be worried about what that means for your future. IBS is not linked to colorectal or any other types of cancer. IBS can, however, be aggravated by stress and anxiety, so it is crucial that you learn your triggers to alleviate symptoms. 

Contact Us For Help Managing Your IBS

The Gut Authority serves people like you in Gulf Shores, Alabama, as well as in Baldwin County that are battling the uncomfortable symptoms of IBS. Dr. Mashner’s holistic approach to healing will help reduce discomfort by providing empathetic and supportive health coaching. We will guide you through the necessary steps to restore digestive potency and balance to your intestinal flora. If you are ready to take responsibility for your health, then call today and let us help you with the proper tools and information.

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