Top 10 Most Important Facts For IBS Sufferers


I thought I would share some important facts IBS sufferers should keep in mind, whether you’ve just been diagnosed or you’ve known for a while:

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder.

There are four types of IBS based on how your GI Tract (the series of organs that complete the digestive process) eliminates waste. The four types include: IBS-C (where the C stands for constipation), IBS-D (diarrhea), IBS-A (alternate, which means experiencing symptoms of both the previous types), and IBS-U (unsubtyped, lesser but still prominent symptoms of the first two types).

2. IBS can have emotional and psychological symptoms as well.

IBS Friendly Food

Smiley Fruit Face

Unfortunately, IBS sufferers are more likely to experience anxiety. More research is being done on this syndrome; however researchers have found that increased levels of stress usually accompany this diagnosis. Additionally the physical symptoms of IBS can cause embarrassment for some. Luckily there are ways to cope and relieve these symptoms.

3. IBS is a combination of symptoms

There are ways to relieve IBS symptoms with simple lifestyle changes. This may include follow a low FODMAP diet, taking probiotics and fiber supplements, and adding more exercise into your weekly routine. Physicians may also prescribe some medications.

4. It’s not sure what causes IBS

According to the Mayo Clinic, IBS can be caused by a combination of poor diet, abnormal serotonin levels, or even an imbalance of intestinal bacteria. Some sufferers experience different triggers that can worsen symptoms. Experimenting to figure out what types of foods are activities relieve your symptoms is advised.

5. IBS can be caused by poor diet

Not only is junk food well, junk, but it could be exaggerating your IBS symptoms. Highly processed snacks and drinks contain artificial sweeteners, food additives, and are usually low in fiber. This combination can leave IBS sufferers feeling bloated, cramped, and having an even more difficult time in the bathroom. Cut back on junk food and you might even start seeing results today. For those with more extreme symptoms, remove the unhealthy options from your diet altogether.

6. Conversely, some veggies can negatively affect IBS too

Focus on eating a moderate amount of vegetables with soluble fiber rather than those with insoluble fiber. Avoid vegetables like cauliflowers, onions, garlic, sweet corn, asparagus, savoy cabbage etc. (which can cause gas and maybe worsen your symptoms) and favor instead cooked carrots and spinach (cooked vegetables contain more fiber than raw ones, interestingly enough).

To know what food is high and low in FODMAPs, visit this page.

7. Be mindful of some fruit!

Apples, apricots, avocados, cherries, peaches etc. are too high on oligo-fructans and/or fructose and/or polyols and their intake should be limited or avoided.

8. Drink lots of water

This might be an obvious one but water really is important, especially for IBS sufferers. The typical daily amount of 6-8 glasses will suffice; just make sure you actually get it all down. This will help your system naturally flush itself out. And if you drink your water in the form of herbal tea you can relieve most of the painful cramps that often accompany IBS.

9. Chew, chew, chew

Eating consciously includes taking time to chew your food properly. This helps your body digest substances faster and more efficiently. It’s a very simple idea, but most of us don’t actually take enough time to do so. So relax and let yourself enjoy your meal-your GI Tract will thank you for it.

10. Last but definitely not least: there are solutions out there for IBS sufferers

Using some of the previously mentioned tips, consulting your doctor and simple lifestyle changes can show immediate improvement of your IBS symptoms.

Continue to read this blog for more information on IBS, on what low FODMAPs food are,  how to find low FODMAP friendly recipes and all sorts of useful information for IBS sufferers. Subscribe for a list of low FODMAP food.

Thank you for taking time to read this post. All the best for now and take good care of yourself.

xo Larah

About Larah

I have been suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for many years, but it took a longtime to get a diagnosis, since then I have been following a low FODMAP diet, which has changed my life for the better. This is my story and experience with IBS and the low FODMAP diet.

11 comments on “Top 10 Most Important Facts For IBS Sufferers

  1. As I said, in my case it is stress. I have a dietitian. But I also love onions. So, we both have to compromise on some things. When the pain comes, I feel like killing myself for eating onions. But when the onion rings present themselves again later, I lose myself. 🙁

  2. chew, chew, chew, chew, chew (I wrote it five times Larah!). well, this point definitely needs more weight for it is THE important factor. In today’s fast life, we often have our food in hurry, or eat while watching TV. Stomach acts upon what it receives. So if we’ve eaten fast, big pieces of food it receives which it needs to send for digesting process. But if we have chewed enough, this exercise is saved by a margin and digestive system improves rapidly. I am practicing this habit of chewing and chewing slowly.

  3. I have always been told to chew my food very well and eat my fruits and veggies. At least part of that was true! I can’t believe that fruits and some veggies can actually have a negative effect on us.

    • Hi Sarah, yes there are quite a few fruits and vegetables that are not in the low FODMAP diet, but of course people that don’t have IBS can eat them, as they are healthy for them.

  4. Many of these facts are important to an IBS diagnosed patient. Number 9 should really stand out for many however. It is because chewing is one of the better components of our digestive system. The mouth – with saliva and teeth – take the carbohydrates and break it down into a ball of food. FODMAP foods are carbohydrates, this is why chewing is one of the most important, in my opinion, for those with IBS. The rest of the facts are very factual, and in reality unknown to many. Veggies, usually looked at as a food for health, is looked at – in some cases – as the less wise decision. A rare case, but that’s what IBS is. An unorthodox syndrome, but luckily has no fatal consequences. Great read, of course.

    • Hi John, thanks for taking time to read my blog. Often the simple things can make a huge difference, just like chewing the food properly and slowly, simple enough, but usually we don’t do it.

  5. Great advice! The pains of IBS can be uncomfortable (in more than one way)! Water is certainly helpful in better functionality of the GI tract! I found the warning on eating produce helpful! Thank you!

    • I appreciate your comment Heidilynn. Yes water is the ‘secret’ of almost anything that concern health 😉

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