How should patients with irritable bowel syndrome be fed?
How should patients with irritable bowel syndrome be fed?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is one of the most common digestive system diseases seen in approximately 15% of the population, occurs without any underlying disease in your bowel habits, and appears as a syndrome which shows together the symptoms such as a feeling of discomfort in the abdomen, irregular bowel movements, significant bloating, swelling and the need for an emergency toilet.

It is not possible to reveal the exact causes of IBS. However, studies have found that people with IBS have abnormal bowel movements and a disturbance in the transmission between the muscles and nerves in the intestinal wall. As a result, the intestine makes incompatible movements in order to defecate, and it can cause abdominal pain, bloating and problems with the consistency and amount of stool. Although the reasons for the increase in complaints vary from person to person, food is of great importance since it is a disorder related to the digestive system.

What Should Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Consume?

In order to treat IBS, "Elimination diets" are commonly used. In these diets, foods that are indicated to be sensitive to the individual are excluded from the diet. However, it is reported that there may be problems in a few key points specific to elimination diets. Experts underline that it is important to avoid the consumption of foods that trigger symptoms by keeping nutritional diaries in individuals.

There are common triggers in IBS such as fiber deficiency, sensitivity to certain foods (food intolerance), stress, smoking, alcohol, menstrual period, skipping meals and eating more than one meal, infections, antibiotic use and other drugs.

What Foods Should Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Consume?

IBS patients must frequently consume foods such as fruits and vegetables (except citrus fruits), wholemeal rice, rice flour, cereals, water, herbal teas, chicken, fish, potatoes, potato flour, natural yogurt, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and sesame.

What Foods and Drinks Should Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Avoid?

People with IBS are recommended to stay away from foods such as cheese, milk, beverages containing caffeine (tea, coffee, cola), chocolate, excessive sugar, high-fat, excessively spicy and fermented foods, red meat, dried fruit, alcoholic beverages, artificial sweeteners, diet foods and beverages, wheat and foods made from unsifted wheat flour (white bread, white pasta, biscuits, cookies, cakes, pastries).

According to experts, it is emphasized that very fatty and fried foods should be avoided, and coffee and alcohol consumption can cause cramps and diarrhea. Because sorbitol, which is often found in sweeteners, and fructose in natural honey and some fruits may not be well absorbed from the intestines, and this can again lead to cramps and diarrhea.

What is the FODMAP Diet?

Recent research states that low-fermented foods reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

FODMAP stands for Fermented Oligo-saccharide, Disaccharide, Mono-saccharide and Polyols. These are among the compounds that are not easily digested in our intestines and cause gas and bloating by fermenting. This is a common problem in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Shortly, many foods with high FODMAP content are not consumed for 6 weeks. As a result, it is expected that these pain and swelling will be greatly reduced. At the end of these 6 weeks, these foods that cannot be consumed are added to the daily diet one by one in small amounts. Thus, by observing the effects on the intestine, we can determine whether the food causes discomfort or not.