Most people with IBS suspect or know that they have trouble digesting food. Others exclaim with frustration that their symptoms don’t change, regardless of what they eat.
You can find many different approaches to the IBS diet, and we have addressed some of the more popular ones here.
The BRAT diet has been around for a long time. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The idea is fairly simple. You eat food that is very basic in an effort to minimize any impact on your digestive tract. Limiting your diet in this way may or may not give you some temporary symptom relief, but it’s not a long-term cure for IBS. Plus, maintaining this diet is next to impossible and it is very low in nutritional value.
Low Fodmaps Diet
A popular IBS diet is the low fodmaps diet. This diet advocates that you avoid eating foods high in fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. These are short chain carbohydrates that are present in many foods. Avoiding these foods will not cure your IBS, but it may provide some symptom relief.
In our experience, if you are having trouble digesting these foods, it is most likely a byproduct of another problem. Most of our patients are able to eat these foods again once they get to the source of the problem and heal their digestive tract.
Gluten Free Diet
Gluten free is another popular diet. Going gluten free can have tremendous value if you happen to be one of the people who are gluten intolerant. Most people aren’t gluten intolerant. If you are, you may need to completely (100%) avoid all gluten for several weeks or longer before you see improvement.
But, do you need to? We can help you to figure out whether or not you should be on a gluten free diet. If so, we will guide you through it.
Food Elimination Diet
Elimination diets are also popular, but what should you eliminate? Nothing? Everything? Gluten? Lactose? Soy? GMOs? Fats? Oils? Processed foods? Fodmaps? Dairy? Sugar? Coffee? Alcohol?
The list is endless. There may be something that you need to eliminate, but when your digestive tract feels lousy, it often feels like everything needs to be avoided.
So where do you start? What do you need to focus on long term in order to heal? And what can you eventually add back into your diet? These are complex issues. We are the experts in helping patients to figure this out.
There are many anti-inflammatory diets out there. They tell you certain foods cause inflammation and certain foods do not cause inflammation. What we’ve learned is there is no one food that is guaranteed to cause inflammation.
Your immune system must be triggered for you to have an inflammatory reaction. We’ve seen that literally any food has the potential to cause inflammation, depending on the patient. We help our patients determine the proper anti-inflammatory diet for them.
We do not use a generic approach to this topic; no two patients get the same advice when it comes to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Raw Food Diet
Some people try to avoid processed foods and go on a raw food diet. In theory this sounds like it might be a good idea, because raw foods are generally very high in nutritional value. However, there are other things to consider about a raw food diet.
When you have IBS your digestive system is compromised and you don’t digest food well. Raw food may have a lot more nutrients than processed food, but it is also a lot harder to digest. Do you have trouble digesting a salad, or an apple, or nuts?
Those are raw foods. You need help healing your digestive system before you can tolerate raw foods. Call us and we’ll get you back on track so you can eat all of those lovely raw foods!
Which IBS Diets are Right for You?
You can find many different types of IBS diets on the internet and in books, far more than we can list here. We cannot recommend any single one of them because we treat each of our patients individually.
Using our careful detective process, we determine the proper diet for each of our unique patients. There simply is no one-size-fits-all IBS diet that works for everyone. And there never will be.