Flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, which often disappears after going to the bathroom, diarrhea or constipation or even both? These symptoms could be caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also called functional colonopathy.
IBS is a reflection of a breakdown in communication between the bowels and the brain, and this can be very disturbing psychologically. Regrettably, there are still doctors who consider patients suffering from IBS to be hypochondriacs or fakers.
Because they have no measurable organic causes, many people are told they have nothing. What’s disastrous for them is that they are really suffering because they have more sensitive bowels. At the moment there are no specific drugs that could cure IBS, but a combination of treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Keep track of what you eat
Record in a food diary everything you eat at each meal and the physical symptoms and mood swings you may experience. This diary, which is kept for a week or more, makes it possible to identify foods that consistently cause a problem, adjust the diet accordingly, and avoid unnecessary exclusions. We can even take the test one step further:
We don’t eat any of the foods that caused the symptoms for 24 hours, and then we gradually reintroduce them, watching what happens until we find the culprit. Generally, a problematic food will cause digestive issues about two hours after ingestion, sometimes a little longer if the amounts taken are small.
Limit the intake of insoluble fiber
Insoluble fibers (wholegrain products, fruits, and vegetables with edible skins such as tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, radishes, lettuce, celery, cauliflower, legumes, and nuts) are particularly aggressive to the intestines. Good to know: Cooking the food and/or reducing it to a soup or puree reduces the amount of unwanted fiber.
In severe forms of functional colonopathy, the proposed protocols always envisage eating only cooked fruits first, then cooked vegetables again, then raw fruit and finally raw vegetables.
On the other hand, there is no restriction on soluble, gut-friendly, transit-regulating fibers. Soluble fiber is found in oats, rye, barley, pectin-rich foods (apple, pear, quince, berries, grapes, oranges, peaches, grapefruit) and inulin (chicory, onion, garlic, leek, garlic, asparagus, artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, endive).
Limit intake of fructose and sorbitol
Functional colonopathy is often associated with malabsorption of these sugars, which aggravates the disorders by accentuating intestinal irritation. The aim is not to eliminate them completely but to experiment with moderate intake.
Give preference to fruits that contain less sugar such as peach, blackberry, blueberry, redcurrant, raspberry, strawberry, orange, clementine, pineapple, grapefruit, and melon.
On the other hand limit the intake of honey, dried fruits, agave, and maple syrups, as well as the many products enriched with glucose-fructose syrup (or corn syrup. Examples of products high in sugars are ketchup, certain salad dressings, and mayonnaise, certain fruit yogurts, dessert creams, ice cream, sorbets, etc…
Limiting diet products that use sorbitol as a sweetener (E420) such as soft drinks, gum, candy, diabetic jams, cookies, etc…