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Healthy Diet Treats Irritable Bowel Syndrome Effectively

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Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred as IBS, is a disorder in which intestines squeeze not hard enough or too hard enough to cause food to move either too slowly or too quickly through intestines. The disorder is greatly experienced by women after attaining the age of 20 years. As per the reports of National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, NIH “1 in 5 Americans exhibit symptoms of IBS”.

Causes and Symptoms of IBS

Till date, common cause of the disorder is unknown.
Some of the most common symptoms of IBS include:
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Bloating and gas
  • Constipation
  • Strong urge to have a bowel movement

Fortunately, painful condition of irritable bowel syndrome can be treated effectively by consuming healthy diet.


Diet Recommended For Treating IBS

Consuming healthy and nutritious diet, avoiding foods that make symptoms worse, etc are considered as some of the best ways of treating the disorder effectively. Diet that is recommended for getting rid from IBS includes:
  • High fiber rich diet
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Beans like kidney beans and lima beans
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals
Soluble and insoluble fiber must be included in the diet as soluble fiber aids in treating diarrhea and constipation, whereas, insoluble fiber removes constipation problem. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber comprise of citrus fruits, apples, beans, etc. Wheat bran, grain breads, etc are considered as rich sources of insoluble fiber. However, it is recommended that increase intake of fiber rich diet gradually because sudden increase of fiber rich diet may cause gas related problems. Drinking plenty of water is suggested for preventing constipation problems. Especially, if you have diarrhea, then it is necessary to drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day for preventing dehydration. Another point necessary to disclose is IBS diet should be taken in smaller meals, so that chances of bloating can be reduced. Eating food quickly should be avoided strictly. 

Needless to say, diet contributes significantly in relieving symptoms of the disorder. Foods that cause irritation or stimulation to the bowel should be avoided.

Certain foods that flare-up irritable bowel syndrome’s symptoms are summarized below:

  • Alcohol and carbonated drinks
  • Fried foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Red meats
  • Gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye)
  • Artificial sweeteners (things like sorbitol and aspartame)
  • Dairy products
  • Caffeine (found in coffee, tea and soda.)
  • Any foods that are high in fat and sugar
  • Chocolates
It is strictly advised to avoid these foods or limit their intake to a particular level.  Other than diet, regular exercise also helps in treating IBS effectively. Physical activities like brisk walking or jogging aids in improving the bowel functioning, therefore it is suggested to follow and maintain regular exercise schedule.
Medications play important role in getting relief from irritable bowel syndrome’s painful symptoms. Medications are prescribed for treating constipation or reducing diarrhea. Medicines like Ioperamide or Lomotil, etc are recommended for treating constipation, diarrhea, etc. Important to disclose that, these medications have certain side-effects, therefore people prefer treating the condition by taking recommended Irritable Bowel Syndrome diet.  


Irritable bowel syndrome is a gastrointestinal functional disorder that shows symptoms like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc. The disorder can be treated in the best manner by taking high fiber rich diet and avoiding certain sets of foods. 

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: September 30, 2012

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