Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common problem to many people. In the overwhelming majority of cases it is just a disorder not a disease. It is mostly related to diet and stress. However there are many people who suffer from arthritis and IBS as well but it seems that anxiety and stress caused by arthritis affect bowel's functionality.
I know arthritis causes a lot of stress and it is difficult to handle this but you can change your diet and get relieved from IBS symptoms.
There are some foods which irritate the bowel. The best thing you can do is, keep a log where you will write which foods you consume every day and what symptoms they cause to you. With this way you will be able to find out the foods which deteriorate your problem.
The main suspects which cause symptoms are dairy products, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and raw fruits. However I can’t tell you what foods to avoid because IBS is an individualized problem. There is a lot of controversy about foods and the evidence are not so clear. For example many people tolerate well green salads while others not. You have to investigate in your problem and find which foods you can’t tolerate. It is a personal work and keeping a log could help a lot.
However there are some general guidelines you can follow.
Try eating small regular meals. You should have 4-5 small meals per day. Having large meals you overload your digestive system and deteriorate your IBS symptoms.
Drink more liquids. Water is the best. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Avoid carbonated beverages, coffee and alcohol. Coffee and alcohol irritate the bowel and carbonated beverages cause more gas which make you feeling more bloated.
Exercise frequently. Exercise reduces stress and improves intestinal contractions.
Reduce gluten. Gluten has implicated a lot but fortunately more and more gluten free products come into the market every day.
Be careful with the dairy products. If you can’t tolerate lactose you can simply substitute milk with yogurt or drink milk without lactose instead.
Avoid fatty, fried and spicy foods. Pizza, sausages, bacon, and fried potatoes are not advisable.
Eat more fibres. Fruit and whole wheat products contain plenty of them. However there is a lot of controversy among IBS sufferers. Some sufferers feel better eating fruit and whole wheat bread while others say that their symptoms get worse after eating fibres. You can try to add a small amount of fibres in your daily diet and see how it goes. Or tell your doctor to recommend you a supplement.
Summarizing IBS isn’t a disease. It is a common disorder related to diet, stress and our lifestyle. Making some small changes we can improve it.