Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Common Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Many of us suffer from a sore stomach from time to time after eating, but if the condition persists, it could be a sign you’re suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome – often referred to simply as IBS.

IBS often becomes more common or more noticeable as we get older, but it can also be a sign of greater, more dangerous underlying problems, so you should always consult your GP if you find you’re regularly suffering cramps, constipation, diarrhea, or pains in your stomach or digestive system.

Signs you may be suffering from IBS

Pain after eating can cause discomfort and could be a sign you could be suffering from – or developing – IBS. However, rather than being short-term, symptoms tend to persist with most people. You may be developing problems if you regularly suffer from the following:

  • Regular problems with constipation
  • Diarrhea or other abnormalities in stools
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Cramps or other pains
  • Suffering from feelings of being bloated or producing excessive gas

Even making small changes can make big a difference to IBS

While recurring pain is worth checking out with a qualified clinician, often just making small changes to your diet is enough to clear problems in the short term. Using an online service like the can help you isolate common problems in your diet so you can eliminate the causes of your problems. Here are some of the common causes of IBS that you should try to avoid:

Dairy products: Milk and other dairy products frequently trigger problems in sufferers of IBS. Note, in some cases, problems with milk can be a sign of lactose intolerance, so you should check with a doctor.

Fried foods: The high-fat content of fried foods can cause problems with IBS. Also, frying food changes its chemical make-up, which often makes it harder to digest, in turn triggering digestive issues.

Foods rich in insoluble fiber: Foods with insoluble fiber such as whole grain products and vegetables should be avoided.

Foods with a high gluten content: You should try to avoid foods high in gluten like wheat, barley, or rye.  

Peas, lentils, and beans: Beans and other legumes can cause digestive problems due to having compounds called oligosaccharides, which are hard to digest as they are resistant to our intestinal enzymes.

Drinks with a high caffeine content: Caffeine is present in many sodas and energy drinks and can cause problems as it has a stimulating effect on the intestinal tract, which may trigger diarrhea problems. Caffeine is also clearly present in high doses in coffee and tea.

Processed foods: Processed foods tend to have a high prevalence of sugar, fat, and also added salt – all of which can bring about digestive problems. Deep-fried foods should usually be avoided, including some processed meats, microwave and pre-made meals, and chips.

Artificial sweeteners:
Sugar-free sweeteners are commonly found in mouthwash products, chewing and bubble gum, the majority of diet drinks, and sugar-free sweets. The ingredients used in sugar substitutes have all been known to cause issues in IBS sufferers.

Candy bars, sweets, and other chocolates:
Chocolate is normally high in both fat and sugar and also commonly contains lactose and caffeine, so it should be avoided.

Alcohol: Beer normally has a high gluten content while wine and other mixed drinks can also be high in sugar – again, all products to steer clear of.

Onion or garlic: Both onions and garlic are difficult for the digestive system to break down, and both can be a cause of gas.

Cauliflower or broccoli: Cauliflower and broccoli are both tricky for the body to digest and can also be a cause of gas, so they should be avoided.

This is a guest blog entry.

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