Those with irritable bowel syndrome have either constipation, diarrhea or they swing between the two. Today I have a video for you with some tips on preventing constipation. Of course, the low Fodmap diet is the most important element in controlling IBS but there are also some other things to keep in mind to help keep you regular.
You will get a little surprise in this video – you are about to actually see me live in it for the first time. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to show my face but it had to happen sooner or later. I don’t think it looks like me at all and neither does Dario. He says that I have “holes in my face” in the video that I don’t have in real life. Make of that what you will. It made me laugh but I don’t really know what it means.
Transcript of the Video – IBS with Constipation
What can I do about constipation?
Today I’m going to talk to you about constipation. Those of us with irritable bowel syndrome, we either have constipation or diarrhoea, or we swing between the two. Now, there are a few tips that we can use in order to control our constipation.
The most important one of course is fluid intake. We have to make sure we drink enough fluid so that we keep these stools soft, because constipation is caused either by not enough fluid or by the material moving too fast through the bowel, or there could also be some motility problems and inflammation. Anyway, lots of water, and just remember that caffeine and alcohol are actually dehydrating. If you’re going to be drinking coffee or a glass of wine, you need more water afterwards to counteract that.
The second tip is magnesium tablets. Most of us are actually short of magnesium in our bodies. What I do, though, with a tablet is I break it in half. I find that a full tablet is a bit much for me and it can send me running to the toilet, which is not so pleasant. So I break them in half and I have a half each day. That keeps things moving along nicely.
The next tip is concerning exercise. Just make sure that you get plenty of exercise. That’s not just by going to the gym or having your daily walk. It’s about moving throughout the day as well. Certainly that 30 minutes or an hour of exercise that’s specifically for exercise is excellent. But if you have a sedentary job, working at a desk, I’d certainly recommend that every now and then you get up and you go for a walk around the office, or you just swing your arms around. But the body loves to have big movements – that’s what it’s made to perform. The very small, tiny movements that we make when we’re working at a computer are not what the body likes at all, so you’ve got to counteract those regularly through the day. All that exercise helps the system to move the material through it and to prevent constipation.
The fourth tip is about fibre. Fibre is a double-edged sword for those of us with irritable bowel syndrome, because too much fibre definitely irritates the bowel and causes us problems, and yet we need fibre in order to form good-sized stools with a good consistency. So, just during the day, perhaps for a snack, instead of something starchy, perhaps have some vegetables – some bell peppers, zucchini, carrots – eat those instead. You can eat them perhaps by dipping them in some tahini, although on the low Fodmap diet, you’re only allowed one tablespoon of that at a time. Perhaps some peanut butter, cottage cheese, something like that, just to make them a little bit more interesting.
Low Fodmap Diet
And, of course, as I’ve just mentioned, the low Fodmap diet is really, really important, if you’ve got irritable bowel syndrome, reduce those Fodmaps. That will eliminate your symptoms, or at least it does in 75% of people with irritable bowel syndrome.
That’s my tips for today. Thank you very much for listening and goodbye.
This is a recipe I used to make when I lived in Italy many moons ago. I dug it up in a little notebook I kept way back then. I have made it low Fodmap, of course, by changing the flours but otherwise it is the same. I teamed it up with the tomato sauce recipe I made HERE but added a minced up red chilli to give it a bit of heat. The meal was a success and Adriano told me to put it down as a recipe to repeat, but he should know by now, I seldom repeat a recipe because I am always trying something new. I would get bored quickly if I kept having to eat the same food.
- 450gms frozen spinach
- 35gms of Parmesan
- 250gms cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 yolk
- 120gms white rice flour
- 80gms tapioca flour
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Salt & pepper
- Boil the spinach until cooked - just a few minutes.
- Drain and squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible.
- Chop up the spinach.
- Combine all the ingredients.
- Adjust the seasoning.
- If the mixture is too wet, add more rice flour. If it is too dry, add a little water.
- When the consistency is right, roll the mixture into small balls about the size of a ping pong ball.
- Boil a couple of big pots of salted water.
- When it is boiling, divide the gnocchi between the pots and boil gently until they float to the top of the water.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place in serving bowls.
- Serve with a tomato sauce and extra grated Parmesan.