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The Food Doctor  - IBS

Irritable bowel, or spastic colon is a common disorder whereby the regular waves of muscular movement along the intestines become uncoordinated.  This disruption involves the small intestine and the colon, resulting in a variety of symptoms in all areas of the digestive tract, including intermittent diarrhoea and constipation.



Symptoms you may experience include:

Colicky or continuous pains in the gut

Chronic diarrhoea and constipation

Trapped wind

Abdominal flatulence and bloating

A combination of the following: chronic fatigue, depression, headache, anxiety, poor concentration


Factors that may be influencing your condition include:

Food intolerance

Overgrowth of Candida albicans

Insufficient beneficial bacteria in the gut

Parasitic infection

Long term use of the contraceptive pill

A history of taking certain medications including antibiotics, steroids and NSAIDS

A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar

A diet low in fruit, vegetables and fiber

A stressful life

Poor muscle tone

Family history of IBS    


Dietary Recommendations:

Foods to Avoid


Avoid foods high in fast releasing sugars such as unrefined grains, confectionary, cakes and biscuits. Avoid raw vegetables, salads and raw fruit.


Avoid saturated fats from red meat and dairy food, as these tend to exacerbate the symptoms of IBS.


Avoid protein from red meat and unfermented dairy foods as these tend to be inflammatory due to the saturated fat content.


Avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea and sugary carbonated drinks.

Foods to Increase


Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, which include rice, oats, rye, quinoa, barley, millet and buckwheat. Plenty of fresh well cooked vegetables introduced into the diet very slowly with soups and stews. Stewed fruits in small amounts.


Include fresh nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds), cold pressed oils and oily fish (tuna, mackerel, herrings, pilchards, salmon) to supply essential fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory.


Lean, organic chicken or turkey and fish can supply good animal protein. Include live yoghurt with no added sugar to encourage and healthy gut flora.


Increase dietary fibre slowly to encourage gut motility and peristalsis particularly if constipation is a major symptom. Oat bran, prune juice, cooked vegetables lentils and pulses. In some cases high fibre foods make symptoms worse.


Drink two litres of water daily — taken away from meals and sipped slowly to avoid stress on the kidneys. For variety drink diluted fruit juices, organic vegetables juices and herbal teas.


Lifestyle Recommendations:

Stress Identify any areas or stress in your life. Adopt more effective time management and allow time for relaxation. Start relaxation/yoga classes, breathing techniques etc. and even counselling or employing a life-manager.

Exercise Recommend a gentle exercise programme to be followed at least three days a week to aid motility of the GI tract.

Toxicity If smoking is an issue, then try to reduce and eventually break this habit as it can have a negative effect on digestive function.

Other Eat small regular meals and chew thoroughly to relieve any strain on the digestive system.


Nutrient Rich Foods for IBS:

VITAMIN B COMPLEX Richest food source: brewer’s yeast, eggs, chicken and whole grains.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS Richest food source: fresh nuts and seeds and oily and cold-water fish.

ACIDOPHILUS Richest food source: Natural bio-yoghurt.


Each month we will be showing the very best IBS related article from the internet clips from You Tube.  Whilst some may contradict with some of the work on the site, it is all valuable and may have specific relevance to your own situation.

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