Cramping, aching and nausea. That is what I experienced from the moment I woke up this morning through the entire workday. If you have IBS, you already know that dealing with it, especially when you aren’t at home, is just the worst.
This morning I was given a painful reminder of just one of the reasons why we started the Clean Eating Diet. Read on to find some of the symptoms and some foods that will help you answer that popular question…How do I manage IBS symptoms?
Not sure if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? THIS LINK has great info on the signs and symptoms.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
The first time I went to the doctor for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), I actually thought I might be pregnant! My lower stomach felt like someone had punched it and I had a constant ache for days. I was constipated and nauseated.
Anytime I ate, I felt queasy 5 minutes later. I was miserable. The doctor first diagnosed me with IBS in 2010 (right smack in the recession) when I was going through a very stressful time in my life. We had a baby at home and at the same time work had announced a merger, meaning we didn’t know who was going to keep their jobs.
I wasn’t paying attention to stress because I thought I was managing it. Over the years I have identified stress as a trigger for my IBS. Though IBS triggers are different for everyone, stress is a common one.
I should also note that some people experience diarrhea rather than constipation.
What to Eat for IBS
The good news is that if you are already Clean Eating, your symptoms are likely controlled most of the time. Since we have started eating Clean, my IBS symptoms only bother me maybe 2-3 times a year. And each time I could tell you why.
Last night we picked up Teriyaki Chicken with white rice. While that isn’t typically a problem. we also ordered a plate of teriyaki vegetables which ended up being a head of cabbage sauteed in lots of oil. As I ate it, I knew I would regret it.
But I did it anyway. The cabbage coupled with the oil and White rice was enough to trigger IBS. So let us start with foods to avoid with IBS:
What Foods Trigger IBS Attacks
Here are some food to avoid if you suffer from IBS:
Now the fun part. What you CAN eat!
What to Eat on the IBS Diet?
Fortunately, there are a lot of foods you can eat on the IBS diet:
- Take Probiotics! Take it twice a day during an IBS episode
- Fruits that are low in fructose – bananas, oranges
- Sweet potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, carrots
- Peppermint Tea
- Turmeric Tea
- Turmeric, ginger
- Whole Wheat Bread or Brown Rice
- Oatmeal & Almond Milk
IBS At Work – Eating Out With IBS
IBS at work can make you paranoid about eating just about anything. Here are a few lunch ideas on the IBS diet that you should be able to find at a cafe, coffee shop or restaurant.
- Turkey Sandwich on Whole Wheat (avoid white bread)
- Veggie Sandwich – A small amount of avocado is safe but you may want to avoid it
- Clear soups – look for Chicken, beef or vegetable broth bases. Chicken and Rice is my favorite. Avoid creamy soups
- Fruits – find low Fructose fruits like Pineapple (especially good for IBS), Grapes, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Banana, Oranges and Berries
- Tea – Peppermint Tea is best for soothing your stomach. Turmeric tea may help too
- Drink LOTS of water
How Long Does it Take for IBS to go Away?
An IBS attack can last 2-4 days and sometimes even up to a week. That doesn’t sound like a long time but for someone suffering from IBS, it can feel like it is never going to end.
How long you will be symptom-free between attacks will vary from person to person. It is unknown what causes IBS and it is thought to be genetic.
I know from experience that diet, stress, and hormones are all contributing factors for someone like me who is prone to IBS attacks. Clean Eating, probiotics, and exercise are all things that help me. But it has taken many, many years to figure that out.
You Will Get Through it – Seek Help if You Have Frequent IBS Episodes
In the end, IBS sucks. There is nothing fun about it and it can cause stress and anxiety when you have to leave the house during an episode. Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be managed with Clean Eating, but sometimes there are reactive foods that are specific to your body.
If you are experiencing frequent episodes, talk to a doctor and see if there is something else going on.