By Nyesha Stone
Summers are like a crown jewel, especially in a state like Wisconsin that’s covered in snow for most of the year. When the temperature rises and the final snow melts the real fun begins—barbeques, swimming parties and so much more. But, while all this fun is going on, many individuals tend to forget about foodborne illnesses that can be found in “typical” summer foods, like potato salad.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year around 48 million people become sick from foodborne illnesses—128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 people die from the illness they’ve caught.
There are many illnesses one can catch from food, but one that’s become more severe and common in Americans is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). According to Boston-based registered dietitian and a New York Times Best Selling Author with 25+ years of digestive health experience, Kate Scarlata, around 15-20 percent of Americans is impacted by IBS.
IBS’ main symptom is pain. It’s when an individual eats a certain food that triggers the pain. There’s a dysregulation between the gut and the brain that causes for the brain to exert more pain when a certain type food of is digested.
Scarlata says she has a solution for individuals dealing with IBS, and it involves her three-step diet. The first step is to eliminate foods that are high in FODMAPs for two to six weeks. FODMAPS, according to Scarlata are “short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that can cause gas and bloating,” which are symptoms of IBS. The next step is reintroducing the FODMAPs back into the diet systematically, to see which ones’ trigger pain in the individual. And lastly, once it’s discovered which FODMAPs cause pain to eliminate those foods from the individual’s diet for good.
An example of this diet is milk. Milk contains lactose which is sugar, so someone on the diet would eliminate the FODMAP lactose for several weeks. Then the reintroduction begins. During step two, the individual will start with ½ cup of milk for the first day. Then the second day, the individual will have a full cup of milk, and the third day they will have 1 ½ cup of milk. As they’re drinking the milk each day, the individual will be tracking if the milk triggered any pain, and if it did, then that FODMAP lactose would be taken out of that individual’s diet.
This is only one resource for dealing with IBS, but Scarlata says there are more.
“IBS is very common, it’s no need to suffer with bloating, diarrhea and pain,” she said about the variety of options available for IBS.
Scarlata also noted that lots of individuals with IBS suffer from constipation. According to her, Sunfiber is a FODMAP that helps manage constipation.
If you’re an individual who suffers gut pains, lots of gas and bloating, don’t self-diagnose but rather go see a healthcare provider. Scarlata says it’s important to keep your same diet until you see the doctor, so they can try to figure out what current foods are triggering pain.
For more information visit Scarlata’s website at http://www.katescarlata.com/.