What is The Best Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

What is The Best Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome? | HealthSoul

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. The prevalence of IBS in the US has been estimated to be approximately 10 to 15 percent. However, only a small percentage of those affected seek medical attention. The prevalence of IBS is higher in women as compared with men.

Are you wondering what is the most effective diet to manage IBS?

In this article, we share insights on this topic from Dr. Saurabh (Seth) Sethi, who specializes in Gastroenterology. Dr. Sethi recommends following these two simple steps to streamline your diet if you are suffering from IBS.

The first step is the exclusion of gas-producing foods. Eliminate foods that escalate flatulence eg, beans, onions, bananas, apricots, celery, carrots, raisins, prunes, and Brussels sprouts.

The most effective diet to manage IBS

If symptoms persist, despite adherence to step 1, move on to step 2 and try a low FODMAP diet.

The low FODMAP diet is a diet low in fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). These short-chain carbohydrates are poorly absorbed and are osmotically active within the enteric lumen where they are rapidly fermented, leading to symptoms of abdominal bloating and pain. Click here to learn about the diet in detail.

The Low FODMAP method consists of first eliminating FODMAPs from the diet for 6-8 weeks and then, after symptom resolution, the gradual reintroduction of foods high in fermentable carbohydrates to determine individual tolerance to specific fermentable carbohydrates.

Multiple studies have demonstrated an improvement in IBS symptoms with a low FODMAP diet.

  • In a randomized clinical trial, 30 patients with IBS and 8 healthy controls were assigned to a low FODMAP diet or a moderate FODMAP diet for 21 days. Subjects with IBS, but not controls, had significant improvement in abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and stool consistency while on a low FODMAP diet as compared with the moderate FODMAP diet and their diet at baseline.

You can easily manage your IBS symptoms by following a low-FODMAP diet. Some patients may require medications if diet alone is not sufficient. For more information and tips on gut health/diet/nutrition/fitness, check out Dr. Sethi’s blog

 If you have IBS, what are some of the problem foods that you have encountered? Please write in the comments section.