When you have the condition, it’s important to learn about managing irritable bowel syndrome with your diet. Here are five tips to help you manage IBS through careful attention to your diet.
Tip #1: Keep a Food Diary. When you have IBS, different foods can affect you in different ways. It’s important that you write down what you eat each day and then also keep track of your symptoms.
This will help you to determine which foods are irritating for you and which foods don’t cause problems. Over time you’ll be able to get a clear picture of what foods you need to avoid and which ones are safe for you to eat.
Tip #2: Get Tested for Food Allergies. In addition to keeping a food diary, it’s a good idea to have allergy testing for specific foods. This will help you to find out what foods might be specifically causing an allergic reaction.
For example, some people have allergies to dairy products or to the gluten in wheat. Knowing this can help you to eliminate problem foods rapidly and start feeling better fast.
Tip #3: Reduce Portions of Some Foods. There are some foods that are known to cause more problems than others. Foods high in sugar can cause a lot of trouble. Foods very high in fiber, such as beans, can also cause difficulties.
You don’t have to eliminate these foods, but enjoy them in small portions. Eating a few bites of a treat is usually ok. But eating large quantities of problem foods can have you running for the bathroom.
Tip #4: Forget about Eating “Healthy”. Many of the foods that we think of as healthy such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can actually make someone with IBS feel worse. Instead of worrying about what you “should” eat, pay more attention to what your body is telling you.
Because you may miss out on some vitamins as a result of your dietary change, you’ll want to make sure you take a multivitamin to supplement what you’re eating.
Tip #5: Learn to Cook. It can be difficult to feel good when you have IBS if all you eat are processed frozen dinners and restaurant meals. One way you can really improve the way you feel is to learn to cook and make more meals at home.
There you’ll have more control over what you’re eating and you’ll know what ingredients will help you to feel best. Managing irritable bowel syndrome with your diet doesn’t have to be complicated, but you will need to focus some energy and effort on making changes.
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