What Is Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that describes a group of symptoms such as abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, increased gas, bloating (distention), cramping, and food intolerance.
Irritable bowel syndrome is considered a "functional" disorder, which means changes in the functioning of the digestive system cause the collection of symptoms referred to as IBS. IBS is a problem with the movement (motility) of the digestive tract rather than damage to the tissues of the digestive system.
What Is an IBS Diet?
IBS patients usually need to identify foods that trigger their symptoms and avoid those foods. A food diary can often help patients figure out which foods trigger symptoms.
What Should You Eat When You Have IBS?
In general, patients with IBS may find it helpful to drink plenty of water, increase dietary fiber, and eat smaller meals to reduce cramping and diarrhea. Fiber supplements may also help some patients.
Diets for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- High fiber diet
- Low fiber diet
- During an IBS flare when symptoms are worse, a low fiber diet may help relieve some symptoms, including diarrhea.
- During flares, reduce consumption of raw fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
- Eat foods that are well cooked.
- Binding foods such as oats, applesauce, and potatoes may help ease symptoms.
- Elimination diet (Low FODMAP diet)
- FODMAP refers to a group of short-chain carbohydrates (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) that are not well absorbed in the small intestine and are quickly fermented by gut bacteria.
- The gut bacteria produce gas that can contribute to IBS symptoms.
- A Low FODMAP Diet is also called the Elimination Diet because patients eliminate foods high in FODMAPs.
- The lists of foods both high and low in FODMAPs are extensive.
- Talk a doctor or nutritionist to find out what foods to eat and foods to avoid on a FODMAP/elimination diet.
- Gluten free diet
- Low fat diet
- Low fat, high carbohydrate foods such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole-grain breads may help ease symptoms during an IBS flare (except in patients who also have celiac disease).