Benefits of Fiber for IBS
IBS, also known as irritable bowel syndrome, is a condition that causes issues with digestion and bowel function. Those who have this condition often experience difficulty going to the bathroom, or sudden urges to go. There are several treatment options available, but adding fiber to your diet can help improve the function of your bowels and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Why is Fiber Important?
Fiber is an essential part of your diet, but most American’s don’t get enough in their diet each day and fall below the daily recommended amount of 20-35gm each day. While too much fiber could aggravate IBS symptoms by causing increased bloating and gas, when taken in moderation, people with IBS can benefit. However, once you reach your optimal amount, you’ll see an improvement in painful symptoms, abnormal bowel movement, and your overall health.
Foods that are high in fiber take longer to chew. When you take more time to chew your food, you give your body the time it needs to send signals to the brain telling it that you’re full. Also, fiber works to slow down the digestive process, managing the sudden urge to go to the bathroom and the pain that occurs in IBS when your bowels are working too quickly. Fiber not only treats the symptoms of IBS, but helps improve GI function for many different conditions.
High Fiber Foods
The way you start taking fiber is crucial for it to be effective. You need to start off slowly and work your way up in order to prevent the side effects listed in the ladder. When you start off slowly and gradually increase your intake, you’ll see symptoms relief much sooner and some patients can even eliminate the symptoms of IBS completely. Start by taking in 20mg a day, and then work your way up to 35mg for a gradual increase.
You can get your fiber from fiber rick foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll want to consume three servings each day in order to maintain high levels. Additional foods that are high in fiber include:
- Whole grains
- Nuts and Seeds
A good method of increasing your daily fiber intake is to add three servings of fruit and vegetables into your diet. Once your body has adjusted, you can add in some of the food listed about 1-2 times per-day.
If you want to use fiber to manage your IBS but have a hard time adding it to your diet, you can use fiber supplements to get your daily intake. Natural fiber is generally most effective, but a high-quality supplement can provide you with the fiber you need each day. You’ll also want to start slowly when using a supplement to prevent reverse reactions.
Changing your diet to add in the proper amount of fiber can be difficult at first. Most people experience difficulty when trying to change their daily eating habits, but with some effort on your end, you’ll get used to your new dieting habits and will see the benefits of fiber for IBS first-hand.