Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition that causes the bowel to work improperly. Sometimes it causes constipation and sometimes it causes diarrhea. It also causes cramps and pain in the abdomen. Doctors usually recommend that people with IBS make some changes to the way they eat. However, there isn’t a specific diet for the condition. Instead, it’s a matter of figuring out what works best for your aging relative.
Kinds of IBS Diets
There are several kinds of diets that the doctor may suggest to relieve and manage IBS symptoms. Some of them are:
- Low FODMAP Diet: FODMAPs are a certain kind of carbohydrate that draws water into the bowel and are more difficult for the body to digest. They can cause people with IBS to have more gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Not all carbs are FODMAPs, so you’ll want to do some research or talk to the doctor to learn more.
- High Fiber Diet: If your aging relative suffers from constipation, adding more fiber to their diet may help. Fiber helps to bulk up foods and move them through the bowel more easily.
- Low Fiber Diet: On the other hand, some people need to follow a low fiber diet because it may cause them to have more gas and diarrhea.
- Gluten Free Diet: Gluten is a kind of protein in different kinds of grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. Some people are sensitive to gluten, so it makes their IBS symptoms worse. Following a gluten free diet can be tricky because grain products are used in making so many kinds of foods. To help your aging relative follow a gluten free diet, learn about which kinds of grains contain gluten and how to identify them on food labels.
Avoiding IBS Triggers
Some foods can trigger IBS symptoms, but the triggers can be different for everyone. To identify which foods affect your family member, keep a journal of the foods they eat and their symptoms. This can help you notice patterns. If you suspect a food causes symptoms but aren’t sure, eliminate it from the diet for a while and then reintroduce it. If the symptoms return, the food is probably a trigger and should be avoided. Be sure to follow the doctor’s orders regarding diet changes and any other instruction that is provided for avoiding an IBS flare-up.
Home care can help seniors to avoid foods that cause problems or to follow a diet suggested by their doctor. Home care providers can assist with planning meals. They can also go grocery shopping for the older adult or drive them to the store and help them. For seniors who have difficulty cooking, home care providers can prepare healthy meals and snacks.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE SERVICES IN CORNELIUS, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF CHARLOTTE. (704) 246-5806.