Can I start a Paleo diet even if I have IBS? This is what you may be considering when diagnosed or think you suffer with IBS.
After all eating a Paleo diet is all about whole natural foods and moving away from gluten, grains and dairy, all food types that are known to cause problems in the gut if you don’t tolerate them very well.
Anyone who suffers from the symptoms or a diagnosis of IBS knows how important their diet is to a good quality of life.
Just adding one small ingredient can cause a very uncomfortable and unwanted flare up.
With that in mind, the main goals to avoid IBS symptoms are eating right and staying healthy.
The Paleo diet can be a helpful eating plan for someone who wants to get on the right path to cleaner eating while also helping to relieve IBS issues.
Discover more about what IBS is, what causes it, and how Paleo can assist in reducing the symptoms.
Symptoms of IBS – Overview
Someone that is suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is going to constantly be dealing with constipation, gas, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal discomforts, and various other digestive symptoms.
It is an inflammation in the gut where your cells are attacked by your own immune system. Frequently, suffers will feel pain, cramping, and sometimes life-threatening symptoms.
There are three major categories of IBS that are based off of the symptoms.
- IBS-C is constipation
- IBS-D is diarrhea
- IBS-M is a mixture of the two.
Research shows that about 1 in 6 Americans have some form of IBS symptoms.
Some of those people will deal with the symptoms constantly while others will feel something once and never again.
Most people land in the middle with flare ups happening occasionally.
Unfortunately, there are no treatments or clear cut reasons why someone gets IBS. The syndrome is diagnosed as a functional disorder because there is no physical or metabolic abnormality that is causing the issues.
IBS is concerning because of the greater risk of colon cancer, intestinal infections, injuries to lining of the intestine and anus, blockages in the intestines, and even toxic mega colon which is a type of inflammation that can be fatal.
Two main Causes of IBS
1-Gut flora imbalance
Gut flora is imperative to a healthy digestive system. An imbalance in gut flora throws off the beneficial bacteria found within the stomach.
This plays a major role in IBS along with other functional digestive disorders.
Gut flora imbalance can be caused by foods, medications, lifestyle choices, and antibiotics. Another condition is something called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
This is when the bacteria grow too quickly in the stomach and weight loss, bloating, and malnutrition occurs.
Generally speaking, inflammation is something that is caused by an injury.
With that in mind, inflammation of the stomach can be caused by eating foods that you are allergic to, or something that is causing damage to the lining of the intestine.
There can also be specific injuries, stresses, or a plethora of other causes for inflammation.
Gastroenteritis is a disease that inflames the stomach and intestinal lining. This is caused by a parasite, virus, or bacteria and it may feel similar to stomach flu.
Inflammation can additionally be a direct result of something going on with mental health issues.
The stomach and the mind work very closely together, so if there is something wrong with the mind, chances are it is going to be felt in the stomach in the form of inflammation, which in turn can result in IBS.
Can Paleo Actually Help?
Now that you know that common reasons for IBS include inflammation and an imbalance in gut flora, often caused by diet, a change in diet is a good place to start to reduce symptoms.
It is interesting to note that the regular consumption of wheat products and related cereal grains are known to be a potential cause for chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases, and with Paleo restricting these foods, it can help to remove stress on the system.
Furthermore, Paleo is a good option overall because it goes back to basics and only allows fresh, whole, untainted foods that generally do not irritate the gut.
Being that no preservatives, chemicals or hormones are allowed on the diet, and all food should be as natural as possible, it is gentle on the body.
Paleo is known for having anti-inflammatory effects and feeding the good bacteria in the gut which helps to re balance the gut flora.
So if suffering from IBS, it is worth a try to go back to basics like our caveman ancestors and see how your symptoms respond.
Helpful Foods to eat for IBS
When suffering from IBS, the body is not absorbing the necessary nutrients that it should from various food options.
By properly prioritizing foods and preparing them correctly, you will be able to get these vitamins and minerals back into your body where they need to be.
Here are three key Paleo foods that can be very helpful for a person with IBS.
Organ meats when cooked the right way, are a perfect place to get iron and Vitamin B12. Organs like the heart and liver are full of potassium and magnesium as well. These can be depleted with vomiting and diarrhea, so getting them back in the body is important after a flare up.
Sardines and salmon are fatty, cold-water fish that contain Vitamin D. People with IBS are frequently deficient in this vitamin so these two sources are great to incorporate into the diet. The anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats that the fish are rich in is an additional bonus.
Calcium deficiency is another common occurrence in IBS sufferers. By consuming lots of dark green leafy vegetables and other plant sources of calcium that are found the Paleo diet, this does not have to be the case. If you have to avoid dairy because of IBS, it does not mean that you also have to be low in calcium.
By choosing a diet like the Paleo diet, you can nourish your body with nutrient rich foods which are fully natural and gentle on the body.
This will not only strengthen you but can potentially help to repair problems which worsen IBS.
To truly understand how to manage and reduce your symptoms of IBS you need to get a clear picture of what is causing the problem.
Getting to grips with any gut issue such as IBS is all about experimentation and seeing what results that brings.
Eating Paleo can be a great place to start because it is a very nutritious and helpful eating plan that is focused on natural foods that are for many people able to reduce inflammation and restore proper gut balance.
However everybody is different so what works great for me may not be so good for you.
The main thing is too except the situation and resolve to yourself that you will do your best to control your symptoms and get back to enjoying life to the fullest.
Want to try Paleo? Why not download out free report that gives you the best 100 Paleo foods that you start using today.