April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month and we are happy to raise awareness on this topic that we know is not among the most pleasant to discuss or share with friends. Are you or someone you know suffering in silence?
IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine.The common symptoms include abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea or constipation, or both. Television commercials for medicinal treatments have helped increase awareness, but did you know that certain foods and stress can trigger or make IBS worse?
Improving your food choices and managing your stress may help or delay the need for medication. Research is ongoing as to how foods digest and contribute to these symptoms, but studies have shown that some carbohydrates can cause irritation to the bowel and trigger IBS symptoms. These carbohydrates are called Fermentable Oligo-saccharides Di-saccharides Mono-saccharides and Polyols – otherwise known as FODMAPs. For some people, a low FODMAP meal plan can help relieve the symptoms. A registered dietitian familiar with this eating plan can help you identify problem foods.
Before engaging in any changes or starting a low FODMAP diet plan, consult with your gastroenterologist or primary care doctor and ask for a referral to a registered dietitian familiar with IBS treatment for assistance.
Don’t suffer alone or in silence anymore. Check out the links below for helpful information to discuss with your physician and dietitian.
Here’s to your health!
Author: Tina Reynolds, MS, RD, CDE, USPM Care Manager