A good place to start managing your IBS is by healing your gut. The goal is to rectify the gut flora imbalance and inflammation that can be a cause of IBS. IBS doesn’t have a one cure fits all but healing the gut is something everyone should be doing anyway. It won’t do any harm and even if it doesn’t seem like your symptoms have lessened, it will most definitely improve your health.
Grains, legumes and seed oils can cause IBS symptoms to flare so should be the first food item to go. However do not be alarmed, we will be replacing these foods with options that provide more nutrients while also having the benefits of not being harmful to the gut. Diary can also be problematic so should be avoided at this early stage. Keep in mind that some medications can also cause problems, speak to your doctor about this possibility. It’s well known that Antibiotics will kill bad bacteria in your gut however it must be remembered that the same antibiotics will also kill the good bacteria. This will greatly reduce the health of your gut.
Other foods to consider avoiding at this stage are nuts, seeds, eggs and nightshades. The high levels of Omega-6 in nuts and seeds can cause inflammation. The white in eggs contain anti-microbial compounds which can lead to irritation of the gut. Nightshades contain anti-nutrients which are natural compounds which resist digestion and cause intestinal perforation.
- Bell peppers (a.k.a. sweet peppers)
- Bush tomato
- Cape gooseberry (also known as ground cherries—not to be confused with regular cherries)
- Garden huckleberry (not to be confused with regular huckleberries)
- Goji berries (a.k.a. wolfberry)
- Hot peppers (such as chili peppers, jalapenos, habaneros, chili-based spices, red pepper, cayenne)
- Potatoes (but not sweet potatoes)
Unfortunately many fruit and vegetables are high in FODMAPs. For a complete list of FODMAPs I recommend downloading an app for your smartphone. You will need to refer to the list of foods many times in this early stage of your journey. The reason FODMAPs may be an issue is because they linger in the small intestine and can cause discomfort such as gas, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea along with abdominal pain.
Stress and anxiety
Some people may have a problem with probiotics if they suffer from Candida as the probiotics will also feed this unwanted bacteria.
Food Intolerance Tests
For more information on Food Intolerance testing please contact me as I am an approved Lorisian Food Intolerance Test Practitioner.