Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common medical condition that can occur to any man or women in any age group. It is marked by abnormality in bowel movement, bloating and abdominal pain that persists for several days or even months. Abdominal pain can range from simple cramps to severe intolerable condition in women. It can further lead to other conditions such as depression and tiredness.
An individual suffering from IBS may experience diarrhea, constipation, bouts or the combination of these conditions. Other symptoms of IBS include discharge of mucus during bowel movement, bloating, urge to go for bowels frequently.
In the case of United States, about 20% of the people suffer from IBS during the adulthood. It can cause contractions in colon and also make colon more sensitive. IBS can affect any individual in any age group but it is particularly more common in younger women. The symptoms of IBS are usually seen for the first time when an individual is in the age group of 20-40 years. The probability of women getting affected by IBS is double as compared to men. The symptoms of IBS are more pronounced in women when they are going through menstrual periods. Thus, it is suspected that IBS is related to reproductive hormones.
Can IBS Last More Than a Month?
IBS symptoms and disorders usually persist for a long period. IBS is a chronic disease and there is no cure available till now. The symptoms of IBS can last for more than a month or even more.
The duration of the symptoms for IBS can last for anywhere between 2 months to 12 months in most cases. The duration of the symptoms can vary from one person to another. However, there are some people in which the symptoms can come and go. Stress and anxiety can also cause the symptoms to appear or become severe.
Some people are allergic to certain food products. Thus, eating wrong food may also result into IBS symptoms. You can wait for a few days to see if the symptoms are suppressed. If not, you must contact your doctor for proper examination and treatment. Diet is an important factor that can be used to manage the symptoms. A low FODMAP diet is an effective way to suppress or manage the symptoms of IBS if the IBS symptoms last more than a month.
What Does the Low FODMAP Diet for IBS Involve?
There are two phases in a Low FODMAP Diet for IBS. It is important for every individual to seek guidance and advice on each phase of the FODMAP diet as every individual respond differently to it depending on the tolerance levels. Thus, a specialized approach is required in the case of every individual.
You can find the general guidelines about a low FODMAP diet for IBS below but it is important to understand that they do not apply on every individual equally. Meanwhile, a low FODMAP diet provides all the necessary nutrients and energy to the body. The first step is to get your IBS condition diagnosed with a medical expert to know exactly about your symptoms and conditions that will help you design a suitable diet. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice and help of a specialist dietician to prepare a low FODMAP diet that suits you. Do not rely on the information that is available on the internet and books as the case of every individual is different.
During the first phase of the Low FODMAP Diet for IBS, a person needs to avoid all the high FODMAP foods for the period of 4-6 weeks. To compensate for the lack of nutrients, you dietician will provide you alternative foods in your diet. Your dietician would record the changes in your symptoms in response to the diet and make modifications in your diet accordingly. These observations will help your dietician to plan a diet for the Phase 2 of Low FODMAP diet.
During the second phase of the Low FODMAP diet for IBS, your dietician would allow certain foods that were restricted during the first phase. Then, the response of your body to each food items would be recorded. This will help in identifying the exact foods that are making the symptoms worse and thus needs to be avoided. Gradually, a proper diet is identified that is suited to the individual and can be continued on the long term.
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