Mood swings associated with the intestine (such as IBS)
This organ is now considered to be the “second brain” because of its two-way communication with the latter. Sometimes perceived as undistinguished and potentially inconvenient, the intestine plays an essential role in our physical and psychological health. Its mood swings (the various discomforts it can cause such as IBS) influence our quality of life, but we seldom speak of it.
Destigmatizing bowel disorders
Less prevalent and well known than cardiovascular disease or cancer, there are nearly twenty bowel disorders. Among these, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common. In Canada, 5 million people suffer from IBS and approximately 120,000 new cases develop each year. IBS can significantly affect the quality of life of those affected. Despite this, less than half of them will seek help from health care professionals. The trivialization of symptoms or the embarrassment of talking about it probably contribute to this phenomenon. However, people with IBS deserve adequate care.
IBS affects not only those with the condition
The manifestations of IBS are varied and uncomfortable: bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation, flatulence, intestinal sensitivity, etc. However, it is reassuring to know that IBS is a benign disease that does not increase the risk of cancer or other more serious diseases. The exact cause of that syndrome is unknown, but diet and emotional triggers (such as stress) seem to be linked. Lifestyle changes, especially dietary changes, are the best way to treat IBS, but do not provide a cure. Some medications and natural products can also alleviate some symptoms.
Soothe the mood swings of your “second brain.”
Among the treatments available today, adopting a low FODMAP diet is the best option. What are FODs? It stands for “Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols” which are a family of small sugars found in foods that, once digested by bacteria in the intestine, can irritate the digestive tract and cause associated discomfort.
The concept of this diet is to minimize the consumption of foods high in FODMAPs (e.g., wheat-based breads and cereals, garlic, onions and other vegetables, tree fruits, legumes and some dairy products) and to favor foods low in FODMAPs (e.g., rice, quinoa, strawberries, grapes, cucumbers, carrots, hard cheeses, eggs and meats).
Diet for IBS – Important notice
This approach to eating can be challenging and may seem monotonous. To increase your chances of success, to customize the low FODMAP diet and to maintain the pleasure of eating, it is best to consult a nutritionist who is qualified to deal with this approach.
- Canadian Digestive Health Foundation