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    A Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Diarrhea

    Smart eating habits can make your life a little easier when you have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, or IBS-D. And you don't have to completely give up any foods you like.

    "Moderation is important," says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) Guide to Better Digestion

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    It's important to stick to a balanced diet when you have IBS. So never totally avoid certain groups of food, or you may be depriving yourself of nutrients you need.

    Do Some Detective Work

    Experiment with what you eat  to find out what works for you Bonci says. "People could be selective with what they have, saying, 'OK, I'm no good with apples, but I'm alright with a pear. Or grapes don't work for me, but I'm OK with having a little bit of a banana.'"

    Keep a symptom journal to track which foods and which amounts seem to give you diarrhea. It's the best way to figure out which eats might be causing you problems. Remember, different foods affect people differently.

    You could also try an elimination diet -- if you think certain foods might be triggering your symptoms, stop eating them one at a time, and see how that makes you feel.

    Get the Right Type of Fiber

    Don't avoid fiber if you have diarrhea. It helps protect your body against heart disease, by lowering your LDL cholesterol, and certain cancers, so you need it.

    Simply eat more soluble fiber, rather than the insoluble kind, Bonci says. Soluble fiber stays in the gut longer, which helps the colon work normally.

    You find soluble fiber in foods such as:

    • Oats
    • Peas
    • Beans
    • Apples
    • Citrus fruits
    • Carrots
    • Barley

    Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is found in things like:

    • Whole-wheat flour
    • Wheat bran
    • Nuts
    • Beans
    • Cauliflower
    • Green beans
    • Potatoes

    Although meeting your daily fiber needs is best accomplished by eating the right foods, taking a fiber supplement can also help. Examples of supplements include psyllium, methylcellulose, wheat dextrin, and calcium polycarbophil. If you take a fiber supplement, increase the amount you take slowly to help  prevent gas and cramping. It’s also important to drink enough liquids when you increase your fiber intake.

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