Seattle, WA (PRWEB) April 15, 2009
While people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have to adjust their diets to control IBS symptoms, this need not mean a life of dessert deprivation.
In fact, according to HelpForIBS.com founder and Eating for IBS author Heather Van Vorous, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners will likely make digestive problems worse, not better.
"Plain baking and cooking sugars, such as granulated, powdered, and brown sugar, are simply sucrose, and sucrose is not an IBS trigger," says Van Vorous. "Refined sugar may not be a health food, but it isn't a GI stimulant or irritant. This means that digestion-friendly desserts need not be sugar-free, they must simply avoid or replace known IBS triggers like dairy, high fat levels, and excessive insoluble fiber."
IBS sufferers should be aware, however, that another type of sugar, fructose - fruit sugar - can cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, and cramps. Fructose is a naturally occurring simple sugar, and is found in concentrated amounts in many commercial drinks, high-fructose corn syrup, and fruit juice concentrates. Adding to the confusion, many people are misdiagnosed with IBS when they actually have fructose intolerance, which a simple breath test can diagnose.
In addition, there is no such thing as an artificial sweetener that is proven safe for IBS. Aspartame, sucralose, sorbitol, and other sugar alcohols (xylitol, maltitol) are popular artificial sweeteners, but they can all cause digestive side effects ranging from gas and bloating to severe abdominal cramps and urgent diarrhea. In some cases, they can provoke these symptoms in people who don't even have IBS, so imagine what they do to those with hypersensitive bowels.
"People with IBS can absolutely have their cake and eat it too," according to Van Vorous. "There are hundreds of delicious, IBS-safe dessert possibilities. In fact, you can even make desserts that actively help IBS symptoms. The key to an IBS-friendly recipe is a high soluble fiber foundation, from ingredients and/or the addition of a prebiotic soluble fiber supplement such as Heather's Tummy Fiber, and the substitution of triggers with safe replacements. Include herbs that are digestive aids, such as peppermint, fennel, or ginger, for even better results."
The sweet conclusion? There's no need for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to avoid sugar or eliminate desserts from their diet. They can have their cakes - and puddings, cobblers, tarts, or cookies - and eat them too.
HelpForIBS.com (http://www.helpforibs.com/) is the largest IBS community on the internet, with over 5 million visits per year and a subscriber membership of over 90,000 IBS patients and physicians. HelpForIBS.com is the patient support site of Heather's Tummy Care, a company dedicated to serving people with IBS and offering education, support, and products that allow people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome to successfully manage their symptoms through healthy lifestyle modifications. HelpForIBS.com was founded by Heather Van Vorous, a best-selling IBS author and a sufferer since age 9. Heather's groundbreaking work in the IBS dietary field and the book Eating for IBS - which includes an entire chapter of dessert recipes! - led to her inclusion in Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare and made her a finalist for the IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award. Her IBS work has been licensed by Novartis pharmaceuticals and has been publicized worldwide by physicians, IBS organizations, and patients.
Heather Van Vorous
CEO, Heather's Tummy Care
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