What kind of food can I eat if I have IBS?
For those who have severe symptoms, it may feel like there are no foods that can possibly help. As said in our part two of our IBS blog series, the FODMAP diet can work for initial remission within some individuals. For those who don’t respond to the low FODMAP diet, a reverse-elimination diet may be helpful to identify which types of foods are causing symptoms. Even with these dietary protocols, you might still be asking yourself, “what can I actually eat?” Research has shown that sustaining a #GoodGut can be done with the consumption of whole-food plants, especially vegetables. Cooking or blending vegetables will typically be easier on digestion, eating fruit that has been frozen, cooked, or blended, and sprouting grains and legumes while increasing tolerance to them is preferred. Remember, all of these diets are meant to be individualized, and not everybody is able to eat the recommended foods! If one or more of them do not work for you, there is no need to make yourself eat them. IBS symptoms are very personal, and it is important to remember this when going through your own journey!
Why should I work with a Dietitian if I have IBS?
We know you might also be wondering, do I have to do this alone? Absolutely not! IBS is a personalized disease that is impacted, not only by dietary choices, but our microbiota, genetic predisposition, as well as stress and inflammation. Working with a dietitian and your care team to understand your symptoms and find the right remedies to manage is essential for your recovery. A dietitian experienced in gut disorders is beneficial in navigating this disease because general care practitioners are not specialized enough to tie together the symptoms of IBS and determine a proper diagnosis and treatment. A gut health dietitian will tailor your dietary needs to maintain proper micronutrient content and ensure that symptoms do not worsen. Eliminating foods that trigger symptoms, systematically adding foods back in, and then personalizing the dietary protocol are also some objectives that your dietitian will provide. Lastly, if you do have IBS and you have gone on a restrictive diet, it is very important to consult a dietitian to make sure you maintain diversity in your diet while simultaneously managing symptoms. Restriction diets can become very narrow, and a dietitian can be extremely helpful when navigating that process.
What can I do right now to start healing my gut?
Find a dietitian or doctor to consult about diagnosing IBS
Focus on vegetables and healthy plant proteins, while avoiding processed foods and any trigger foods such as gluten or dairy
Stress reduction and/or time restricted feeding techniques may also be beneficial for management of symptoms.
Be patient and understand that it may have taken years or decades to get unwell, it will take time to get well again.
Having a good care team behind you to support and guide your dietary and lifestyle choices. Whether they’re a dietitian, gastroenterologist, therapist, or endocrinologist, ensure they understand your story and are willing to work with you to find a solution.
If you are interested in working with an RDN, we would love to support you! You can schedule a personalized visit with us and we would love to collaborate with you on your journey! We see clients from all over the world.
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