Foods That May Be Causing Your Cramps

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal cramps and irregular bowel movements. According to the Cleveland Clinic, functional GI disorders are also known as disorders of the gut-brain connection, which affect how your brain interacts with your gut. This can make your GI tract very sensitive and cause a number of unpleasant digestive systems.

For example, people with IBS typically experience bloating, excessive gas, stomach cramps, constipation, and diarrhea (via Cleveland Clinic). IBS can also affect how the muscles in your bowel contract. However, not everyone with IBS will experience the same types of symptoms. That's because there are three different types of IBS: IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), and IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M).

This just means that some people with IBS are more likely to be constipated, while others are more likely to experience diarrhea or even a combination of the two. In addition, IBS flare-ups can also be triggered by certain foods and emotions, according to the Cleveland Clinic. That's why it's important to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety and eliminate trigger foods from your diet.

How foods become intolerable

But how do certain foods become intolerable in the first place? As it turns out, your immune system may be to blame. According to a 2021 study published in the journal, Nature, food intolerances may be related to your immune response to food antigens or foods that cause sensitivity. In the study, researchers in Belgium injected food antigens into the intestines of people with IBS in order to observe their localized immune response. The study's findings revealed that the immune response was only present in the area of the intestines where food antigens had been injected.

This outcome supports previous research suggesting that blocking histamine could improve IBS symptoms, according to gastroenterologist and lead author of the 2021 study, Dr. Guy Boeckxstaens. While further research is still needed, the study's findings are promising. "Knowing the mechanism that leads to mast cell activation is crucial, and will lead to novel therapies for these patients," Boeckxstaens said in KU Leuven.