What Can You Eat And Drink When Your IBS Symptoms Are Raging?

If you've just been diagnosed with IBS, you may be frustrated to learn that all sorts of foods can set off your abdominal pain. However, if you hypercorrect the problem and aren't eating or drinking enough, you could experience a whole host of new symptoms from nutrient deficiencies. So, you'll need to know your go-to foods for when your irritable bowel syndrome flares up.

Opt for Non-alcoholic Drinks, Non-caffeinated Drinks, and Lactose-free Drinks

You've probably been told to reduce gastrointestinal irritants and stimulants like caffeine, lactose, and alcohol. So, what are some good alternatives? First, it is essential that you start drinking fresh water so that you can flush out toxins in your gastrointestinal tract and balance your intestinal flora. 

If you are a huge coffee drinker, consider switching to herbal or iced tea. If you are a big soda drinker, consider switching to unsweetened cranberry juice mixed with club soda. Cranberry juice has been shown to be good at relieving constipation, since it is a mild laxative. 

If you've got to have your milk, you definitely have some good alternatives. You could try rice milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. Take note that this list does not include soy milk, as that contains a lot of FODMAPs, or small carbohydrates that aren't easily digested by the small intestine. 

Choose Soluble Fiber Over Insoluble Fiber

You've probably heard that fiber is great for constipation and digestion. But you'll want to make sure that you are consuming the right kind of fiber. Insoluble fiber can wreak havoc on your body during IBS flare-ups. Instead, you should try to incorporate soluble fiber into your diet. Soluble fiber absorbs excess water in your gut and makes it easier for you to have bowel movements. Soluble fiber is found in foods like potatoes, oatmeal, pasta, and white rice.

Since insoluble fiber is important as well, you can slowly reintroduce it as your symptoms subside. You may need to talk to your doctor about how to incorporate this kind of fiber into your diet without flare-ups. 

Indulge in the Right Sweets 

While there are definitely restrictions that you have to pay attention to, you shouldn't feel like you can't indulge in your cooking. For instance, if you are sick of white bread, try zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, or zucchini bread recipes that cater to IBS patients. If you have a sweet tooth, try rice pudding or chocolate pudding.

Choose the Right Fruits and Veggies

You may be hesitant to try fruits and veggies, since many can exacerbate IBS symptoms. However, there are many options that are low in FODMAPs, such as,

  • tangerines,
  • carrots,
  • grapes,
  • bell peppers,
  • and spinach (and other leafy greens)

Be sure to work with your doctor and/or dietitian to see what foods trigger your symptoms and which recipes can help you feel good during your flare-ups.

For more information, contact Naugatuck Valley Gastroenterology Consultants LLC or a similar organization.