Take Control of Your IBS this Summer


With BBQ’s, ice-cream, burgers and fries throwing your usual routine out of the window, summer and going on holiday can be something that IBS suffers learn to dread. The good news is that IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) needn’t ruin your summer. www.msn.com in conjunction with a promotion by IMODIUM® from Johnson & Johnson Ltd offered a great article to help keep symptoms at bay when you’re having fun in the sun.

Treating IBS

You can treat the symptoms of IBS with over-the-counter medicines such as the recently launched IMODIUM® IBS Relief which provides fast, effective relief from IBS Diarrhoea. COLPERMIN® IBS Relief works naturally to relieve bloating and cramps which are common symptoms of IBS. For more information on how to manage your IBS go to ibs-symptoms.co.uk.

Trigger foods

Lifestyle factors can ease IBS symptoms in many people, so now might be a good time to take up an exercise regime and adopt measures to reduce your stress levels.

But as those with IBS will know, food choices can have a direct and immediate effect on the severity of IBS symptoms. And being presented with BBQ food and summer buffets gives sufferers a set of awkward choices to make.

“The symptoms of IBS can have many triggers, which vary between sufferers, but some foods are notorious,” says registered nutritionist Dr Carina Norris, author of You Are What You Eat – The Meal Planner That Will Change Your Life (Virgin). “These tend to be the foods high in so-called FODMAPS, which include certain kinds of easily-fermentable carbohydrates, and cause the unpleasant gut symptoms.”

So steering clear of high FODMAPS foods can go a long way towards controlling IBS symptoms this summer. The problem is, there’s a lot of them. The foods likely to cause problems are dairy (because of lactose, or milk sugar), wheat (because of fructans), many fruits (high in fructose), beans and pulses, some vegetables and some artificial sweeteners.

In some ways, that makes the summer – with its abundance of fresh foods – difficult for IBS sufferers. “Many barbecue foods are high in FODMAPS – think of baked beans, bean burgers, fizzy drinks with sweeteners or sweetened with fructose, fruit juice and many fresh fruits,” admits Dr Norris. Spicy foods are also a symptom trigger for many people with IBS.

But in other ways a well thought-out BBQ or buffet can be packed with IBS-friendly options. And the good news is, many meat cuts are a good choice.

“Plain, low-fat cuts of meat should be fine, so go for grilled chicken, steak, fish, or good-quality burgers,” says Dr Norris. “See if you can ask for – or take with you – a wheat-free bun for your burger.”

For burgers quality is key. Cheap burgers, and most sausages, will contain wheat, which can be problematic for many IBS sufferers. If in doubt, ask the host to show you the packet.

The vegetarian option

Unfortunately, summer party choices for vegetarians can be a bit more limited.

“If you’re a vegetarian things can be particularly tricky, but consider a jacket potato with some olive oil or butter – butter is lower in lactose than other dairy products,” advises Dr Norris. “A nice healthy accompaniment is a mixed salad with a healthy dressing – just remember to remove any onion. Potato salad is another good bet – especially if the dressing is home-made and wheat- and dairy-free.”

Fresh fruit salads are always popular in summer, and the good news is that you don’t have to steer clear completely. You do have to be careful though, and go for fruits lowest in those pesky FODMAPS, which include blueberries, grapes, strawberries and cantaloupe.

“For a hot dessert, have grilled pineapple or baked bananas,” says Dr Norris. “If you’re lucky, there might be some dairy-free ice cream on offer, too.”

Drinks, too, need consideration. Fizzy drinks or cordials containing artificial sweeteners or fructose, and fruit juices, should largely be avoided. A tasty, refreshing and low calorie alternative is sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon, says Dr Norris.

Alcohol and coffee are a symptom trigger for many IBS sufferers, so it’s up to you whether you want to risk them or not. If you do succumb remember that moderation – as in so many things – is key.

Being an IBS sufferer in summer can be frustrating. But if you follow those simple tips, and choose low FODMAPS foods more often than not, you can keep symptoms to a minimum and fully enjoy the summer fun.

Nutritionist Dr Carina Norris does not endorse any specific brand or product and has no relationship with the sponsor.

If you experience any symptoms of IBS regularly you should consult your doctor. IMODIUM® IBS Relief contains loperamide to treat IBS Diarrhoea. Colpermin IBS Relief capsules contain peppermint oil to treat bloating, cramps, spasms and wind. Always read the label.

Article and tips taken from www.msn.com


All content on this website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult your own GP if you’re in any way concerned about your health.

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