How to Beat IBS…with Food

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a general term for a variety of inflammatory disorders of the intestinal tract. Normally, the muscular contractions of your digestive tract are coordinated and regular. IBS can disrupt this coordination and cause painful symptoms. The difficulty with IBS, besides pain and discomfort, is that it can cause havoc with your nutritional health.

IBS can be pretty serious. Scientists are unsure what causes the disease and how exactly to treat it. Sometimes medications are prescribed, but these treatments can cause prescription side effects. Now here’s some GOOD health news on the IBS front: a recent study has found that following a simple rotation diet could help to reduce painful symptoms.

Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center set out to investigate the role of food intolerance in IBS patients. They enrolled 20 people who had failed standard IBS medical therapies at a gastrointestinal clinic. The patients underwent food elimination diets based on the results of food- and mold-sensitivity tests. Probiotics were also introduced. Repeat testing was performed at six months. The research team followed up with the patients one year after trial completion to assess any beneficial effects from the rotation diet.

They found that there were significant improvements in stool frequency and IBS symptom scores. Imbalances of beneficial flora were identified in 100% of the patients at the outset of the study. However, there was a significant improvement in beneficial flora after treating with the rotation diet. The one-year follow-up showed minimal symptomatic problems from IBS and a significantly improved perception of control over IBS. The researchers concluded that identifying and appropriately addressing food sensitivities in IBS patients not previously responding to standard therapy results in a sustained clinical response and impacts positively on overall well-being and quality of life.

How do you follow a rotation diet? Don’t know if you have any food sensitivities? A rotation diet is simply a diet in which you eat a certain food (or food group) on a particular day and then do not eat that food again for four days. Record the condition of your health once you eliminate this food. Over the course of the four days, is it better, the same, or worse? After four days, add the food back into your diet. Record your symptoms again. Do you notice that any symptoms are worse? If so, you may have a sensitivity to this food that is aggravating, or perhaps even causing, some of your health problems.

It can take some time to identify trigger foods using the rotation diet. But be patient — discovering a food that is causing you to feel awful in some way is worth the effort. You may find that your symptoms clear up remarkably quickly by taking the simple step of eliminating a particular food from your diet.