What You Should Not Be Eating When You Have IBS?

What you should not be eating when you have IBS.

As we talked about last week, functional bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome can have a tremendous effect on a person's overall health and wellbeing.  Irritable bowel disorder is affecting approximately 20% of the population and has symptoms of painful gas belching bloating and is often constant. 

These symptoms lead to depression and can significantly increase anxiety in patients.  Making the patient heal their gut is often one of my clinical gems for patients that are suffering from depression or social anxiety disorders.  One question I get asked by almost everyone that has a gut that isn’t healthy is what I should remove from my diet with IBS?

First and for most, you need to remove all forms of grain from your diet.  This includes even the “healthy” whole grains: Bulgur (cracked wheat), Whole wheat flour, Whole oats/oatmeal, Whole grain corn/corn meal, Popcorn, Brown Rice, Whole Rye, Whole grain barley, Whole Farro, Wild Rice, Buckwheat, Triticale, Millet Quinoa, Sorghum.

I know this is opposite of what most ADA nutritionist and the mass media have conditioned us to believe but, unfortunately, they are just wrong.  Here are a few reasons why they are first let's talk about the gluten - gliadin reaction.  Everyone has heard that hey gluten’s bad for you, right?  The sad part is that most people have no clue what gluten is or even why it is bad for you.  To re-hash this gluten and gliadin are just proteins, found in some grains. 

These proteins cause a reaction in the gut similar to a cholera infection, sounds great, doesn't it.  The gluten/gliadin in some grains causes the release of zonulin, which blows open the tight gap junctions between the cells of the small intestine.  Flushing out the small intestine with water, leading to increased intestinal peristalsis (things moved quickly through your gut and increased abdominal cramping) and increase the incidents of diarrhea.  This sounds a lot like a form of IBS then you were paying attention to the last post.  

And for that reason, alone people with IBS need to avoid all from of grain.  Now, I would take it a step further if your intestines cause you pain or discomfort even after you have gone gluten and grain free. There is a term that has started to circulate in the natural health care community FODMAP's. 

FODMAP's are going to be the next "gluten," meaning that everyone will be taking them out of their diet because they are bad for you, and no-one will have a clue what FODMAP even stands for or why it MIGHT be bad for you. FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.  They are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the intestine.  Some of you may be thinking that's great, carbs and sugar that I ate didn't absorb.  Score, sign me up! 

The problem is that the bacteria in your gut ferment these sugars think make beer without the alcohol.  This means your gut is a constant gas and bloat factory, which is two of the major signs and symptoms of IBS. The only people that I have seen that are significantly FODMAP sensitive are the people that have severe bacterial imbalances from too many rounds of "routine" antibiotics, especially in their early lives. 

That means most people under the age of 80.  This is because antibiotics don't just kill the bad bacteria they kill the good bacteria that keep those bad bacteria in check.  This, in my opinion, is one of the main reasons there are increased incidents of recurrent infection with prolonged antibiotic use.

So to the point of the post what the hell should you be avoiding when you have IBS. First and foremost ALL grains.  I have honestly not found a safe grain in this country. 

Sorry.  I love and miss them too. Next, you should remove all high FODMAP food for at least three weeks to see if there is a change.  Then slowly add the FODMAP's back into your diet.  Below you will find a list of foods high in FODMAP's

Vegetables and Legumes Fruit – Fruits can contain high fructose Cereals, Grains, Bread, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads
Garlic – avoid entirely if possible Apples Wheat containing products such (be sure to check labels): Agave
Onions – avoid entirely if possible Apricots Biscuits Fructose
Artichoke Avocado Breadcrumbs High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Asparagus Blackberries Cashews Honey
Baked beans Cherries Cakes Milk Chocolate
Beetroot Currants Egg noodles Sugar-free sweets
Black eyed peas Dates Regular noodles Inulin
Broad beans Grapefruit Pastries Isomalt
Butter beans Lychee Pasta made from wheat Maltitol
Cauliflower Mango Udon noodles Mannitol
Celery – greater than 5cm of stalk Nectarines Wheat bread Sorbitol
Kidney beans Peaches Wheat cereals Xylitol
Leeks Pears Wheat rolls  
Mange Tout Persimmon Barley  
Mushrooms Plums Bran cereals  
Peas Prunes Couscous  
Savoy Cabbage Raisins Pistachios  
Soy beans Tinned fruit in apple/pear juice Rye  
Shallots Watermelon Semolina  
Drinks   Dairy Foods  
Beer – if drinking more than one bottle   Buttermilk  
Dandelion tea   Cream cheese  
Fruit and herbal teas with apple added   Cream  
Orange juice in quantities over 100ml   Custard  
Rum   Ice cream  
Sugar-free fizzy drinks – such as diet coke   Margarine  
Sports drinks   Milk – cow, goat and sheep  
Wine – if drinking more than one glass   Sour cream  
    Yoghurt – including Greek yogurt  

Hopefully, this will help you get your gut back on track and help you start living the life you want and not be "tied" to the closest toilet.   If you have any questions, please let me know at [email protected]

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