The Ketogenic Diet and IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome, often called IBS, is a disorder that causes uncomfortable and inconvenient gastrointestinal symptoms. The condition is not well understood, and there is currently no cure. However, a number of strategies are available to manage symptoms. The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is a low-carb diet often used to lose weight, but it is also proving to be an effective way to manage IBS.
Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder that causes cramping, bloating, diarrhea or constipation and gas. Symptoms may be intermittent or chronic. Certain foods, hormonal changes and stress can increase symptoms. Some individuals experience severe distress that interfere with their daily activities. A restricted diet is often recommended to manage IBS symptoms.
Carbohydrates and IBS
Certain types of carbohydrates have been associated with irritable bowel symptoms. These carbohydrates have been given the label “FODMAPs,” which stands for “fermentables,” “oligosaccharides,” “disaccharides,” “monosaccharides” and “polyols.” This designation includes foods that are poorly absorbed by the intestines and include such items as wheat, rye, onions, sugar alcohols like mannitol, juice concentrates, beans, lentils, some fruits, dairy products that contain lactose and nuts.
Elements of the Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet sharply restricts many of high FODMAP foods, which make it a good choice for individuals with IBS. The diet includes high levels of fat, moderate consumption of protein and a very small amount of carbohydrates. Because of the low carbohydrate content, many individuals use the keto diet to lose weight. But restricting carbs has been found to also reduce irritable bowel symptoms.
Benefits of the Keto Diet for Weight Loss and Intestinal Health
Low-carb diets, such as the keto diet, have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are often the most effective way for individuals to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight.
Instead of carbohydrates, dieters rely on a larger amount of protein, such as lean meat, chicken, fish and soy products, which provide a sense of fullness for a longer period of time. In addition, implementing a low-carb diet helps individuals to avoid the specific carbohydrates that trigger IBS symptoms, such as wheat, beans and fruits that contain fructose. As a result, individuals with IBS are able to feel better, as well as maintain a healthier weight.
Managing the symptoms of IBS can cause a number of daily challenges. Symptoms can be unpredictable and can impact everyday life. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates can help to reduce symptoms and calm the intestinal lining. If you have been struggling with IBS symptoms, talk to your doctor about the keto diet and its low carbohydrate features. It may offer a helpful solution to the problem of living with irritable bowel syndrome.
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