April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. It is estimated that between 25-45 million people have IBS. Two out of three are female. In my 35 years of nutrition counseling, I do not believe I have ever had a man come in with IBS. Women are “good” about internalizing their stress, and it can show up as intestinal distress.
Tips to reduce the symptoms and discomfort of IBS:
- Try NOT to: swallow air, use straws, talk while eating, chew gum or eat or drink fast.
- Slow things down. Relax and enjoy meals. Sip beverages – no gulping.
- AVOID: caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages; sugar-alcohols such as sorbitol and mannitol, known gas-producing veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, onions, cabbage, and legumes, and dried fruits.