Diet for IBS

Today’s IBS picture focuses a lot on diet - avoiding or eating certain foods.  For most IBS sufferers, this thinking can be misguided and unhealthy.  Eating food is a large part of an individual’s quality of life, and introducing dietary restrictions can reduce that quality of life and increase stress.

There are some common foods that can affect everybody and that IBS sufferers may want to avoid - foods with high sugar, fat, spice or caffeine.

Also, the low "FODMAP" diet approach has shown to help control symptoms associated with IBS for some people. This diet eliminates a wide range of carbs that occur in fruits, vegetables, and grains. This works for a subset of patients, but only while they adhere to the diet. Also, studies have shown that even while on the diet, it is not any more effective than brain-gut therapy. Here are some good articles on the low FODMAP diet approach:

A gluten-free diet may also help with your IBS symptoms. Most people trying a gluten-free diet see symptoms improve but not disappear. The gluten-free diet can be done long term but tends to be low in iron, B vitamins, and other nutrients.

Changing your diet to solve your IBS symptoms might make you feel better for a little while, but as you start to get off course, you may feel more guilty and stressed about your food options. Keeping to a diet is often difficult and you will likely need the help of a dietitian.