If you’re suffering from IBS symptoms, you’ve probably received unhelpful diet advice from everyone.
“Have you tried cutting out gluten?”
“Have you tried eating low-fat?”
“My sister went vegan and she’s so much happier now!”
Unfortunately, many people with IBS have tried seemingly every diet under the sun—and still suffer symptoms.
Are there diets that can actually help? This is a complicated question. The diet that helps one person can actually make another sicker. And for some patients, diet is not the issue at all! But one thing is clear—there is no single right diet for IBS.
At the IBS Treatment Center, we work individually with patients to identify their unique dietary needs. And we’ve cured more than 80% of our patients with this individualized care.
That being said, here are 4 current trendy IBS diets to be aware of
This diet is exceptionally popular right now. And there is good scientific evidence that some people have real, measurable reactions to a specific protein in gluten grains. (Others have reactions to other components of gluten grains, but not specifically gluten.)
Unfortunately, due to its current popularity, there is a misconception that the gluten-free diet is inherently healthy and a good idea for everyone. That’s just not true. A gluten-free diet can be a healthy diet, but just cutting out gluten, without attention to ensuring proper nutrition, can cause problems.
Some IBS sufferers do find that eliminating gluten helps soothe or even prevent symptoms. But we have seen “false positives,” where patients seem to react to gluten, but actually need to address a different medical issue entirely. Once that issue is addressed, the formerly “gluten-intolerant” patient can eat gluten again without problems.
This complexity is best addressed by working with an expert doctor who has the tools and experience to help you decide if this diet is the right choice for your health.
If your doctor does recommend a gluten-free diet, here is what you can expect:
Most breads, cakes, pastas, and other starchy, bready foods will be off-limits. They’re normally made with wheat flour, which contains a protein called “gluten.” However, gluten-free shoppers have a multitude of specialty alternatives today—replacing wheat flour with other flours made from rice, corn, quinoa, flax, or even nuts and beans.
Since high-fat foods can cause diarrhea, some people with IBS find that eating a low-fat diet helps with their symptoms.
However, while a low-fat diet is helpful for some people, it doesn’t help everyone. In fact, for some people, it can actually be unhelpful.
This complexity is best addressed by working with an expert IBS doctor with the tools and experience to help you determine the best choice for your health.
If your doctor does recommend a low-fat diet, here’s what you can expect:
Less frying and more baking, steaming, and broiling. You’d trim more fat from meats before cooking, and choose leaner cuts in general (loin versus roast, breast versus thigh, etc.). You’d also look for low-fat or fat-free dairy products and bakery items.
On the opposite end of the continuum from the low-fat diet is the paleo diet, which has gained enormous popularity in recent years.
Unfortunately, despite its celebrity status among foodies, this diet is not likely to be the best solution for people with IBS. The diet is based on what cavemen ate, back before the invention of agriculture. Paleo foods are therefore less refined and can be more challenging to digest—which in some cases can make things worse.
If you are advised by an expert IBS doctor to try the paleo diet, here’s what you can expect: primarily unprocessed meats, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Paleo eaters generally avoid processed foods, sweeteners, dairy, and grains.
Again, we don’t recommend trying the paleo diet before working with a doctor who has the tools and experience to help you decide if this diet is the right choice for your health.
Low-Glycemic Index Diet
The Low-Glycemic Index Diet (or Slow-Carb Diet) is designed to reduce fluctuations in blood sugar and thereby reduce food cravings. This diet prioritizes foods that are high-fiber or high-fat, both of which slow down digestion.
Unfortunately, while this diet does help some people, it’s generally unhelpful (and may even worsen symptoms) for people with IBS. The higher fiber and fat content of this diet can put additional strain on the digestive system.
If you’re curious about the low-glycemic index diet, we recommend speaking with a doctor who has the tools and experience to help you decide if this diet is the right choice for your health.
If, under consultation with that doctor, you decide to go forward with this diet, here’s what to expect:
You’d follow the Glycemic Index and avoid foods with high glycemic scores (more than 70) and instead choose those with lower measures (less than 55). You’d also limit your portion sizes overall, since large meals lead to large increases in blood glucose.
Of course, none of these diets alone is likely to directly address the underlying cause of your IBS. Furthermore, what works for one person can be problematic for another. But at the IBS Treatment Center, we’ve found that specific, customized paths to wellness work and have helped thousands cure their IBS for good.
Contact Us Today
The IBS Treatment Center has the highest success rate for curing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) of any medical facility in the United States. With clinics in Seattle and Los Angeles, we help patients around the world get the answers they’ve been looking for. Call the IBS Treatment Center today at 888.546.6243
or request an appointment online to find out how you can cure your IBS symptoms for good!