Digestion Tip of The Month: Living with IBS

An estimated 15-20% of all Americans have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. Despite the fact that diet plays a direct role in gut function many doctors fail to give their patients any IBS dietary or food guidelines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment at all. Most website resources also fail to steer you in the right direction when it comes to proper eating habits for IBS. Have you been told to eat wheat bran or raw vegetables? This information is not accurate nor helpful when needing to follow a “proper” diet. For example it’s not a singular type of food that causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. It’s ANY food that is high in fat, insoluble fiber, caffeine, coffee (even decaf), carbonation, or alcohol. Why? Because all of these food categories are either GI stimulants or irritants, and can cause violent reactions of your gastrocolic reflex. This directly affects the muscles in your colon and can lead to IBS pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. 
For many, a good IBS diet makes the difference between living a normal, happy, outgoing life versus spending every single day stuck in the bathroom enduring blinding pain, bowel dysfunction, bloating, and other Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. It is that important for you and many others to have the right nutritional resources so you can live a functional, worry free, and pain free life. Don’t let IBS run your life; take control back of your IBS!

Here are some recipes and websites where you can get more accurate information for regular, safe eating to help control your IBS:

Baked chicken and rice:

  • 4 5-6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Place chicken breasts in a single layer in baking dish that can accommodate the chicken in one layer. Combine uncooked rice, chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, garlic and oregano in a medium bowl. Stir in chopped spinach. Spoon mixture over chicken. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-40-minutes, until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F) and rice is tender.Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew:

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes and juices
  • 1 8 ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed


Heat oil on medium heat and sauté onions, garlic, celery and carrots for 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle curry powder and stir well. Add broth, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Add sweet potato chunks, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, until lentils are tender. Stir in baby spinach and cooked chicken. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Egg White Omelet with Herbs and Spinach:
 (Breakfast Options)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat milk
  • 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar or grated parmesan


Combine egg whites, milk and herbs in a small bowl. Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet on medium to low heat. Add chopped spinach. As it wilts, pour egg white mixture over the spinach and allow to set around the edges. As the edges set, lift them gently with a spatula and tip the skillet to allow remaining liquid underneath. When the egg whites are set, sprinkle the cheese on top, then fold the omelet in half. Serve immediately.

Published by smtraphagen

SM Traphagen is a writer and novelist. Her works have appeared on Buffaloeats.org, Accounting Today Magazine, St. Reds Magazine, The Culture-ist Magazine, Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine, among others. With a fiction novel written, the hope is to expand the world of fiction in fun and creative ways. Her love of writing fiction and food have culminated in a website that blends the two, including Digestion Suggestion and Untold Shorties.

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