IBS and Diet

Adding fibre to your diet can help to relieve you of the discomfort of IBS, as well as eating little and often and enjoying meals slowly. Learn more here.

The relationship between IBS and food is a complex one. An IBS diet plan works very well for some people, but others find that flare-ups can’t be linked back to a certain food.

Meals can appear to trigger IBS symptoms, but it could be the physical action of eating, rather than the particular food you’re consuming, that causes symptoms to appear. You can be gentler to your digestive system by altering the way in which you eat.

You could try:

  • Activating your digestive system by always eating breakfast.
  • Eating 5 or 6 smaller meals a day, rather than 2 or 3 large ones.
  • Chewing slowly and taking your time over meals.

When it comes to a suitable diet for IBS, your doctor will probably recommend keeping a diary of everything you eat over several weeks, to try and help you identify which foods to avoid. Common foods to avoid with IBS include caffeine, chocolate and nuts.

It’s worth noting other possible triggers at the same time—such as mood, medication and sleep quality.

Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) are all insoluble forms of fibre that your gut finds hard to digest and absorb. They include wheat products, beans and some fruits and vegetables. Restricting your intake of these in a low FODMAP diet can help combat IBS symptoms.

The latest generation of prebiotics based on GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) are not classed as FODMAPs.

Although FODMAPs are on the list of IBS foods to avoid, adding fibre to your diet can actually improve the function of your digestive system and help reduce IBS symptoms. It’s important to do this gradually by slowly building up to the recommended intake of 20-35 grams per day. You could start by switching to wholegrain bread and trying to eat more fruit and vegetables. 

 

 

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