Are you struggling with IBS and constipation? Here, you will find comprehensive advice on the best diet to help alleviate your symptoms. You will get actionable tips to help you manage this health condition.
Quick facts: Best Diet For Ibs With Constipation
- ✅ A low-FODMAP diet can reduce IBS-related symptoms including constipation. (Harvard Health Publishing)
- ✅ Drinking plenty of water is important for people with IBS and constipation. (Mayo Clinic)
- ✅ Eating high-fiber foods is beneficial for people with IBS and constipation. (Mayo Clinic)
- ✅ Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help alleviate constipation in people with IBS. (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
- ✅ Probiotic supplements may help reduce IBS-related constipation. (Harvard Health Publishing)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with Constipation is a common digestive disorder that can cause numerous unpleasant symptoms. It is important to understand the best diet for IBS with Constipation in order to get the best possible relief. By choosing the right diet, you can alleviate the symptoms and even prevent the condition from worsening.
Let’s take a look at the best diet for IBS with Constipation:
Overview of IBS with Constipation
IBS with Constipation (IBS-C) is a type of irritable bowel syndrome that causes people to experience constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating. Constipation is defined as passing fewer than three stools in a week or having difficulty passing stools. People with IBS-C typically have hard or lumpy stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, and/or the need for straining to defecate. Other symptoms include feeling bloated, cramps in the lower abdomen, and mucus in the stool.
The best diet for people with IBS-C is one that is low in FODMAPs – fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols – which are types of carbohydrates found in certain foods that are not easily digested in the intestine. Foods high in FODMAPs can increase gas production and draw water into your gut, leading to bloating and constipation. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can also help alleviate these symptoms.
Low FODMAP diets involve an elimination phase at first where all high FODMAP foods are removed before gradually reintroducing them into one’s diet depending on their tolerance level for each food item.
Following a special diet can be a useful tool for managing IBS with constipation symptoms. A diet that is low in fat and high in fiber can help reduce constipation and abdominal discomfort. Additionally, some foods are particularly beneficial in managing IBS with constipation. In this article, we will discuss some general dietary recommendations as well as specific foods that can help relieve symptoms.
Increase dietary fiber
Consuming more dietary fiber is beneficial for those with IBS with constipation. Increasing fiber intake can help to make stool softer, more voluminous and easier to pass. Good sources of dietary fiber include ingredients such as oats, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit and vegetables.
It is important to increase the amount of fiber in the diet gradually over a period of weeks as sudden increases can aggravate symptoms. It is also essential that adequate fluids are consumed when increasing the amount of dietary fiber intake so as to ensure proper hydration. Adding certain types of fibers such as psyllium husk or ground flaxseeds may also be beneficial for those with IBS with constipation due to their ability to absorb excess water from the bowel and form an easily passed stool.
Eat smaller meals more frequently
If you suffer from IBS with constipation, the best diet for you would involve eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Eating smaller meals will allow food to digest more easily, which may reduce abdominal pain. Additionally, frequently eating small meals can also help to increase metabolic activity and keep your digestive system running smoothly. Examples of small, frequent meals could include a yogurt parfait with nuts and seeds or an omelet with vegetables and whole wheat toast.
Some people may find that certain foods trigger their IBS symptoms such as constipation. It is important to identify these foods and eliminate them from your diet. For example, if dairy products cause constipation, then it is best to limit or avoid them entirely. Additionally, adding more fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains can be helpful in relieving constipation related to IBS.
Avoid foods that trigger symptoms
If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C), it is recommended to avoid foods that trigger symptoms. Common triggers are fatty foods, fried foods, processed foods, dairy products and caffeine.
Eating a diet based on whole grains, fruits and vegetables and fiber-rich legumes can help alleviate constipation associated with IBS-C and reduce symptoms overall. You should also limit your intake of red meat, processed meats like bacon and sausage, and high-fat dairy products such as butter and cheese as these can cause gas, bloating and pain.
Additionally, regular exercise may help reduce constipation related to IBS-C by increasing the production of stomach acid which aids in digestion. To ensure optimal digestive function, it is important to drink adequate fluids each day (e.g., 8 glasses of water). Finally, reducing your stress level may also help improve your digestive health.
Foods to Eat
Having IBS with constipation can be difficult to manage, but the right diet can help. Eating foods that are high in fiber and low in fat, such as whole grains and legumes, can help to combat constipation. Additionally, foods that are high in prebiotics and probiotics, such as fermented foods and yogurt, can help to support a healthy gut.
Let’s look at some of the best foods to eat when managing IBS with constipation:
People with IBS and constipation should focus on increasing their fiber intake as a key part of their diet. High-fiber foods can help to reduce the symptoms associated with IBS and constipation, such as bloating, gas and abdominal pain.
Examples of high-fiber foods include:
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits (such as apples and pears)
- Vegetables (such as broccoli and spinach)
Although fiber can be beneficial for digestion health, it is important to increase fiber intake gradually to prevent any uncomfortable side effects. Additionally, people with IBS should avoid certain high-fiber foods that are difficult to digest such as raw cruciferous vegetables or large amounts of seeds.
Fermented foods are known to be beneficial for digestion and balancing the gut microbiota. This is especially true for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with constipation. Fermented foods can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the intestinal tract, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption, while also helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Examples of fermented foods include:
All these fermented foods are traditionally made through a natural fermentation process that involves lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria can break down starches into simpler compounds that are more easily absorbed by your body. In addition to providing probiotics (beneficial bacteria), fermented foods also provide essential vitamins and minerals that can aid in absorption of nutrients from other foods as well.
Probiotic-rich foods are an important part of a diet for IBS with constipation. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, typically taken in the form of a supplement, that help keep your digestive system on track. But you can also find them in some foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir.
Other probiotic-rich foods include:
- Miso paste
Eating probiotic-rich foods helps encourage a healthy balance of gut bacteria which helps to reduce symptoms associated with IBS with constipation such as bloating and abdominal pain.
Foods to Avoid
Those suffering from IBS with constipation can benefit from making changes to their diets by eliminating certain trigger foods. It is important to identify which foods may be causing your symptoms, and then eliminate them from your diet. Knowing which foods to avoid is just as important as knowing which foods to add to your diet in order to manage your symptoms.
Fried and processed foods
Individuals with IBS should avoid fried and processed foods as much as possible. Fried foods such as French fries, chips, and onion rings are high in calories and fat and can increase the risk for weight gain. Furthermore, the cooking process causes them to contain highly inflammatory compounds that may irritate the digestive system.
Processed foods such as packaged snacks, frozen dinners, cured meats (i.e., hot dogs), and canned soups are typically loaded with preservatives and additives that may trigger IBS symptoms. These products are often made with refined grains which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels leading to abdominal discomfort. Foods such as these can also contain traces of gluten which is a common irritant associated with IBS. Therefore, it is important to read labels carefully when searching for gluten free products.
People dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are often advised to avoid dairy products. This is because dairy products contain lactose, a type of sugar that is difficult for people affected by IBS to digest. Dairy can also stimulate the large intestine and lead to contractions that may worsen symptoms of constipation such as abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Additionally, some components in milk can cause inflammation in the digestive tract or an increase in bacterial growth which may also cause abdominal discomfort.
People with IBS should therefore limit their consumption of dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and butter. Alternatives such as plant-based milks should be considered instead. Furthermore, lactose-free dairy products are available for those who would like to have some occasional dairy in their diets.
Gluten-containing grains can be difficult for some people with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) to digest, as gluten is a type of protein that can be hard to break down in the digestive system. These grains include wheat, rye, barley, spelt and kamut. Oats may or may not contain gluten depending on how they’re processed; look for a certified gluten-free label on the packaging if you’re unsure.
Additionally, a small amount of research suggests that grains containing high levels of resistant starch – such as quinoa and wild rice – may also cause digestive issues in some people. If this is the case for you, it’s best to avoid these foods as well.
If you want to consume grains without gluten and resistant starch, try millet and buckwheat.
Other Lifestyle Changes
Besides diet, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to help manage IBS with constipation. Regular physical activity can help to increase muscle tone in the intestine and help to move stools along.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing and even hypnosis can be beneficial for relieving stress, reducing anxiety, and improving digestive symptoms.
Exercising regularly is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make to improve the symptoms of IBS with constipation. Regular exercise helps to build strength, reduce stress levels and stimulates your intestinal muscles. It is recommended that people with IBS with constipation should aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking, swimming or jogging on at least five days per week.
To get the most benefit from exercising, make sure that you have a warm-up and cool-down period before and after your workout. Additionally, make sure to stay hydrated during your workouts by drinking plenty of water or electrolyte beverages.
Reducing stress is an important part of managing IBS with constipation. Stress can affect the digestive system and lead to flare-ups. As such, it is recommended that people with IBS implement stress reduction techniques when possible.
Possible methods for reducing stress could include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Mindfulness practices
- Talking with a therapist or other mental health professional
- Engaging in hobbies or activities one enjoys
- Spending time in nature
Additionally, getting adequate sleep is another important lifestyle factor in managing IBS. Poor sleep quality has been linked to an increase in gastrointestinal symptoms for those living with IBS. Incorporating quality sleep into one’s routine may help reduce flare-ups and improve overall symptom management.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is an important lifestyle change that can help those suffering from IBS with constipation. While the amount of sleep one needs varies by person, it is generally recommended to get 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night. Not getting enough rest can reduce blood flow to the colon, leading to worsening constipation. Additionally, adequate sleep can help reduce stress and anxiety which can also worsen IBS symptoms.
If you find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night, you may want to consider some lifestyle changes such as:
- avoiding caffeine late in the day;
- exercising regularly;
- ensuring your environment is comfortable for sleeping (e.g., dark room; comfortable mattress).
Additionally, practice “sleep hygiene”—take time in the evening to relax from the day’s activities by reading a book or taking a bath before bed so that your body feels more prepared for restful sleep when it comes time for bed.
FAQs about: Best Diet For Ibs With Constipation
Q: What is the best diet for IBS with constipation?
A: The best diet for IBS with constipation is one that is low in FODMAPs. FODMAPs are poorly absorbed carbohydrates found in many foods including certain fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains. Limiting your intake of these foods may help to reduce symptoms of IBS with constipation.
Q: Are there any other dietary changes that can help with IBS with constipation?
A: Yes, there are several other dietary changes that may help to reduce symptoms of IBS with constipation. These include increasing your intake of dietary fiber, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding foods that are high in fat or sugar.
Q: What are some other lifestyle changes that may help with IBS with constipation?
A: In addition to dietary changes, other lifestyle changes that may help to reduce symptoms of IBS with constipation include regular exercise, managing stress levels, and getting enough sleep.