Dealing with IBS can be very difficult because symptoms and treatment can be very different from person to person. Our Palmdale surgeon Dr. Lemus-Rangel is here to provide some tips to keep you better informed.
What may give one person gas may not affect another person and what may bring relief to one person may not offer relief to another person. Many people with IBS report being very gassy although they don’t seem to produce any more gas than the non-IBS population. Studies suggest it is possible that people with IBS have a harder time expelling gas so even a normal amount of gas in the gut may cause pain.
Foods That Produce Gas
We suggest keeping a food diary to determine what brings about symptoms. Once you determine what foods cause you to be gaseous, you can avoid eating them. Common Gas-Producing Foods Include:
- Raw cauliflower or broccoli
“Eat more fiber” is common advice for people with IBS, but sometimes eating fiber can make your gas worse. How you add fiber to your diet and how much you eat can affect your IBS. Fiber found in whole wheat – the insoluble kind, tends to make you gassier whereas methylcellulose and polycarbophil – found in fiber supplements can reduce gas. We suggest increasing your fiber intake gradually. (This may initially make you gassier but as your body adjusts, will decrease your gas.)
Carbs called FODMAP are problematic for people with IBS because they are not absorbed by the small intestine. When they reach the large intestine, they quickly create gas. This process happens to everyone, however, for those with IBS, it can be more problematic. Avoiding them can help with IBS. However, FODMAP foods are also good for you, so consult a physician before you cut them out of your diet completely.
One theory surrounding IBS is that healthy gut bacteria in the intestines have been disrupted and are making too much gas as they break down your food. Probiotics add healthy bacteria that can bring back balance to your gut.
One major cause of gas is swallowing air. This is common for people who eat or drink too much or who drink through a straw. If you don’t burp it up, it will end up in the intestine. Also, regular exercise and proper sleep are good for digestion and should help with IBS.