Diet for the colon or irritable bowel syndrome
FOOD FOR THE IRRITABLE COLON
Diet for the irritable bowel syndrome
The irritable colon can produce among its many symptoms constipation, diarrhea or both things simultaneously. Therefore, we must consider when the patient has one of the two above problems, to provide the proper diet.
Diet for constipation or mild diarrhea in irritable colon
Generally, it is advisable to take a diet high in fiber when the irritable bowel problem manifests as constipation or diarrhea is not very important; or even when combining both factors.
Other very rich fiber foods are the vegetables and the fruits, although within these food groups, we should avoid those that are particularly unsuitable for irritable bowel syndrome. (See list of foods to avoid in irritable colon below).
It was found that certain foods are particularly interesting in these periods of constipation, mild diarrhea, or when they appear alternately. Among them, there are some worth highlighting such as:
- Oat bran. It is rich in soluble fiber, and in many patients with irritable bowel it helps to improve the problems of constipation or mild diarrhea. The most effective solution is to take three tablespoons per day, in three doses, each one diluted in half a glass of fruit juice.
- Spinach: They are easily digestible and high in fiber, so they are useful to prevent constipation and other bowel diseases.
- Apples: Their high pectin content makes them a good regulator of the intestine, so that they are laxative in mild cases of constipation, especially when eaten early in the morning. At the same time, the absorbent value of pectin makes them ideal in cases of colitis, diarrhea, gastroenteritis and in all those cases in which there is a very rich and soft stool.
- Carrots: They are good intestinal regulators, able to prevent constipation, and, at the same time, rich in pectin, capable of relieving diarrhea.
What about meat for irritable colon?
In case of eating animal foods, one should avoid too much fat, especially very greasy meat or fried foods. It is convenient to eat lean meat or grilled fish.
What to drink for irritable colon?
You must drink water in abundance, with a minimum of two liters. It will be drunk slowly throughout the day. It is better to drink natural water, not too hot or cold.
Diet for frequent diarrhea in irritable colon syndrome
Sometimes irritable bowel manifests itself in numerous and severe diarrhea episodes, in which case we must take into account the implementation of a diet for diarrhea to stop these symptoms.
In general, to combat such manifestations in patients with irritable bowel it is recommended to avoid certain foods such as milk and dairy derivatives (cheese, whole yogurt or butter); in its place, one should take other vegetable milks: like soymilk, oats milk, rice milk or milk from skimmed probiotic yogurts.
Some foods especially recommended for patients with irritable bowel symptoms with constipation or mild diarrhea could be counterproductive for those who manifest symptoms of severe and frequent diarrhoea, as the intake of foods rich in insoluble fiber, like wheat bran and dried fruits in general. An excess of these fibers produces too much stimulation and increases intestinal diarrhea.
Some foods are especially recommended:
- Non-whole grain pasta or white bread: Like rice, they are ideal to stop diarrhoea.
- Bananas: They are very digestible, they excite the colon little and they contain a very high amount of potassium that could have been lost with the eliminated liquids.
- Carrots: As mentioned above.
- Apples: As mentioned above.
- Pears: In case of diarrhoea, their slightly astringent properties help to overcome it, being an excellent aid for treatment of colitis.
- For non-vegetarians, it is advisable to eat lean meat or grilled fish.
Non recommended foods for the colon or irritable bowel syndrome
Foods that should not be included in the diet of irritable bowel
There are a number of foods that should be avoided or controlled if they have a negative effect on the person suffering from this disorder.
- Foods not tolerated by the person. Food intolerances are responsible for many cases of diarrhea.
- In case of eating animal foods, patients will have to avoid the excess of fats, especially meat or fried foods that are high in fat. Fried vegetables are not advisable, including chips.
- Sweet drinks with artificial sweeteners, such as mannitol or sorbitol, which also stimulate evacuation. (Soft drinks, sodas, lemonade, etc)
- Drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, colas) since they contribute too much to the elimination of liquids.
- Carbonated drinks.
- Spices. Most of these spices aggravate the symptoms.
- Canned food (canned vegetables, canned fruits, soups on, etc) contain products that excite the gut.
Foods that should not be included when the patient feels discomfort when eating them
General advice in the diet of the irritable colon
Besides eating suitable foods, it is important that the people with irritable bowel to consider a series of advice that can help to improve digestion and to diminish the symptoms of this disease. Among all of them, we could mention the following:
- Eating in a relaxed atmosphere: The absence of nervousness or stress during the meals is very important to combat it. Tension or discussions should be avoided to the maximum during meals time. It is important to maintain an relaxed atmosphere, without arguing or trying to solve your problems.
Sick people should avoid unpleasant memories, or inappropriate conversations concerning problems of life. The habit of watching television while eating is also not recommended because during meals chains tend to broadcast news which, for the most part, constitute a space of hard emotional stress.
In case of a recent discussion or a major annoyance, it is better to skip the meal until one recovers himself or herself.
- Eating several times a day and having light meals: We should eat five times a day. The meals should not be abundant to avoid forcing the bowel and to facilitate digestion.
- Eating at the same times: It is important to respect the timing of meals. When you skip meals, the stomach and intestines are subjected to stress, which produces unwanted movements.
- Eating slowly, chewing foods well. All this favors a good insalivation and better food digestion.
- - Do not take food or drinks too hot or too cold. It is better to drink natural water. Patients should not drink alcohol, sugary or fizzy drinks.
- Maintaining a regular bowel movement frequency. Whenever possible, one should defecate every morning when we wake up or after breakfast. If we accustom our body to a frequent and regular bowel movements, this will improve the symptoms of this disorder.
More information on the syndrome of the irritable bowel in the listing above.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.