Individuals with conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease, need to be cautious about the food they eat in order to avoid unnecessary gastrointestinal pain. Crohn’s, an IBD disease that affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, can cause bleeding, constipation, and abdominal cramps and pain. The CDC reports that IBD is one of the five most common GI diseases in the United States and costs us over $1.7 billion.
Another common GI issue is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Almost 20% of adults in the U.S. have some symptoms of this uncomfortable condition. Pain related to IBS is often caused by specific foods, with different kinds triggering pain for each patient.
One of the best ways to reduce gastrointestinal pain caused by Crohn’s or IBS is to closely monitor food intake. Certain foods can actually help relieve GI pain while others can make it worse. Make sure to follow these guidelines:
- Make sure to get enough fiber: Good sources for the right fiber include whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. However, experts suggest starting slowly and increasing fiber intake over time to avoid shocking the system.
- Eat your prunes: While this dried fruit has often been the butt of many dietary jokes–pun intended–it really does have benefits for people dealing with the effects of GI pain. Drink prune juice to stay hydrated and replenish essential nutrients that can help your body avoid constipation.
- Find your favorite yogurt: As seen on TV in commercials staring Jamie Lee Curtis, the probiotic properties of yogurt are excellent for anyone dealing with the symptoms of IBS or related conditions. It can help to balance the natural bacteria in your GI tract.
- Drink herbal teas: Some teas, such as peppermint and chamomile, have a soothing effect on the body and can help relieve pain. Peppermint has been used as a remedy for stomach pains for generations—even before the advancement of modern medical science.
How can foods help you with your IBD related pain?
Image by Neil Conway via Flickr