Friday 20 January 2017

Should You Really Avoid Coffee If You Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It is not known what causes the condition, but experts suggest changing your diet can help ease the symptoms.

Often treatment of IBS starts with exclusion of the things which can cause symptoms - such as certains foods - which allows the clinician to provide reassurance to the patient which frequently may lead to improvements in the condition.

People are often advised to eat smaller amounts to give the body less to digest, and prevent the bowel being aggravate. Experts sometimes advise people choose food in amount people can tolerate and minimise caffeine intake.

Many people immediately cut out caffeine from their diet.

However, Dr Ana Wilson, consultant gastroenterologist and specialist endoscopist at St Mark's Hospital, said IBS can affect people in different ways - causing diarrhoea, bloating and constipation.

“If you have bloating pain and loose stools, you should try a low FODMAP diet.

“However, if you are suffering from constipation, a low FODMAP diet doesn’t work.”

She said it isn’t always necessary for people to avoid caffeinated drinks, such as tea, coffee and fizzy drinks, all together.

She said: ”I don't normally say avoid caffeine.

"It speeds up the processes of the gut. Excessive dieters stop caffeine completely.

“Limit yourself to one or two a day. Reduce anything that makes your gut go faster.”

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

However, some people limit the amount of caffeinated drinks they have because they are often made with milk.

Dr Ana added: ”When it comes to dairy, saturated fats have been shown to increase inflammation.

“There are a lot who can't even handle small amounts.

"Lactose is mostly found in milk of cream. There are a lot who, even if they aren't intolerant to it, avoid it.

“We aren't meant to be drinking a huge amount of milk anyway. Limit the amount of dairy. That is one of the first things people suggest.”

Peristalsis is the process which moves food through the digestive system, through muscular contractions in the lining of the intestines.

The process makes it possible for waste to be pushed through the intestine.

However, experts said caffeine can produce looser stools because increased peristalsis leaves less time for the colon to perform one of the key functions.

This function is to reabsorb water from fecal matter to produce stools.

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