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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 10% of adult Americans and causes gastrointestinal issues and symptoms. Once diagnosed, IBS can usually be managed with lifestyle and diet changes to minimize the gassiness, bloating or diarrhea.
To help with the diet aspect of IBS, Omar Khan, MD, Gastroenterology at NorthShore, shares what foods to avoid and what to eat instead. It is important to note that some foods will bother some while others may not be affected. To find out what bothers you, keep a food diary and make note of when a meal bothers you to find the culprit.
Don’t. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks, such as coffee, pop or energy drinks. Do. Instead, try drinking tea which has lower caffeine levels. If you’re looking for that wake up in the morning, try a tall glass of cold water.
Don’t. Dairy. Do. Switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy first to see if that works. If it doesn’t, avoid dairy and switch to dairy-free alternatives like rice milk.
Don’t. Insoluble fiber. Do. Soluble fiber foods like oatmeal, root vegetables and fruits.
Don’t. Fried foods. Do. Fried foods tend to be high in fat, which can increase chances of diarrhea with IBS. Try grilling or baking foods for the safer – and healthier – alternative.
Don’t. Sugar-free ingredients like sucralose, acesulfame potassium and aspartame. Do. Try to limit your sugar intake, but if you do, make it natural like honey.
For a more expansive list of foods to avoid or foods that are usually safe, make an appointment with your gastroenterologist.