FreeImages.com/Steve Knight.
FreeImages.com/Steve Knight.

Abdominal pain, bloating, and alternating constipation and diarrhoea are characteristics of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some factors which trigger IBS are changes in routine, emotional stress, infection, and diet. However it can easily be corrected through careful diet changes over time, laxatives or anti-diarrhoea medication, and antispasmodics.

Eat sensibly

If you have fallen prey to the discomforts of IBS and aren’t sure what triggered it, it’s time to keep a food, fluid, and symptoms diary to help observe the role of diet and other factors mentioned above. ┬áIf diet is the culprit, then the following tips will definitely help ease the situation:

– Keep to a high fibre diet. Basically three low fat and high fibre meals teamed with two to three snacks in between, a day is a great way to keep bowels under control.
– Keep fluid levels up but skip fizzy drinks and caffeine.
– Make meal times relaxing and don’t rush through it.
– Slowly eliminate one food at a time to narrow down the IBS trigger. Only when your symptoms have subsided do you start reintroducing these foods again.
– Consult a dietian or physician should you be unsure of anything.

The IBS meal plan
(Depending on the differing quantity of margarine, oil, and fat content of dairy in your meals, there will be roughly 25 to 30 grams of fibre and 30 to 35 grams of fat that your body will obtain from utilising the plan below.)

Breakfast
A medium sized bowl of untoasted muesli, Weetbix, or porridge topped with fresh fruits teamed with low fat milk (or soy for those who are lactose intolerant). You may have this with a side of wholegrain toast with minimal spread and a cup of tea.

Lunch
Wholemeal sandwiches made with low-fat cheese, lean meats, tuna, and salad greens. For dessert, indulge in some low-fat yoghurt with fresh fruits. Wash it all down with water, tea, or diluted juice.

Dinner
Lean, lemon and pepper grilled chicken with a side of salad, boiled new potatoes, and wholemeal bread. Stick to water as a beverage.

For snacks throughout the day, keep it simple with fresh fruit, low fat yoghurt, crackers with cheese, or wholemeal crumpets with honey.

What personal remedies do you have for IBS?