Hi, Amy. My husband has irritable bowel syndrome. Can you tell me a list of foods that are healthy choices for him to be eating? Thank You.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is considered a functional bowel disorder. This means that symptoms and can come and go but IBS will not cause permanent damage or progress to a serious disease (like another gut disorder Inflammatory Bowel Disease can do). If you believe you have IBS, I encourage you to see your doctor and get in touch with a doctor that specializes in gastrointestinal disorders. The doctor will likely ask you in depth questions about your symptoms and try to find correlation with some of the foods that you eat. For those with extreme IBS, the easiest way to identify the right trigger foods is to first follow an elimination diet for five to seven days. This elimination diet is one that avoids all potential offending foods (one that is very low in fiber, spicy foods, and fat). Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, bran, whole wheat, nuts etc.) Then it is recommended that one slowly reintroduce those same foods one by one. Along the way you keep track of reactions to foods you are reintroducing in a food diary. You can see on paper what you are eating and then how you are feeling and hopefully find some correlation there. It can also be helpful to eat smaller, more frequent meals spread throughout your day. I encourage my patients to slow down at meal times and make sure they are chewing their food adequately. If you are constipated, try to make sure you have breakfast each morning and add a hot drink (possibly with some caffeine) to help stimulate the digestive system.

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