Why is Intermittent Fasting being considered to address IBS?


Intermittent fasting (or IF) is an eating pattern with periods or cycles of eating and fasting. Unlike regular meal times, people on an IF schedule fast for a specific number of hours and only eat within a certain window. Intermittent fasting is not concerned with the kinds of food you eat but is more focused on the timing of consumption. Individuals who adopt IF often make adjustments to their lifestyle, specifically with their meal times, in order to accommodate the cycles of eating and fasting.

By altering feeding and fasting cycles, the body is able to “take a break” from digesting food. The typical person consumes a significant amount of preservatives from everyday foods. But even without these preservatives, sugars, oils, and salts in the system, the mere quantity of food being digested today is usually enough to upset the stomach, which is especially true for people with IBS.

Intermittent fasting allows the body to restart certain metabolic processes that promote better overall health. It is believed that intermittent fasting can decrease inflammatory responses and reduce stress, both of which are crucial in managing IBS. IF allows the gut to relax and repair itself by establishing periods of non-consumption. When combined with an elimination diet or low FODMAP diet, IF could be a tangible option for some IBS patients to alleviate the worst symptoms.

As always, it is best to consult a medical professional before embarking on any new dietary journey.


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