Incontinence Community

Diet and Nutrition for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Marketing Intern | Shield HealthCare
03/21/18  9:02 AM PST
diet and nutrition for irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that causes your gut to be extra-sensitive and changes how your bowel muscles contract and function. IBS is a group of symptoms happening simultaneously, causing pain in the abdomen and changes in bowel movements.

Common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Bloating.
  • Inability to finish a bowel movement.
  • White mucus in stool.

There are four types of IBS based off of different changes in bowel movements:

IBS with constipation (IBS-C)

  • More than 25% of the time your stool is hard/lumpy, less than a 25%  is loose/watery.

IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)

  • More than 25% of the time your stool is loose/watery, less than 25%  is hard/lumpy.

IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M)

  • More than 25% of the time your stool is hard/lumpy and more than 25% of the time is loose/watery.

IBS Unsubtyped (IBS-U)

  • Less than 25% of the time your stool is hard/lumpy and less than 25% of the time is loose/watery.

Your diet plays a major role in alleviating symptoms of IBS.

  • Eat more fiber –  improves constipation, makes stool softer/easier to pass.
    • There are 2 types of fibers, soluble fiber (beans, fruit, oats) and insoluble fiber (whole-grain products, vegetables).
    • Soluble fiber helps alleviate IBS symptoms.
    • Add food with fiber to your diet slowly. Too much fiber causes gas which can trigger IBS symptoms; try adding 2-3 grams of fiber a day to prevent gas/bloating.
  • Avoid gluten.
    • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
    • Gluten can increase your symptoms of IBS even if you don’t have celiac disease.
  • Follow the low FODMAP diet.
    • Reduces/avoids foods containing carbohydrates (FODMAPS) that are difficult to digest.
    • Foods containing FODMAPs:
      • Canned fruit, natural fruit juice, dried fruit.
      • Artichokes, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms, onions, snow peas.
      • Milk products.
      • Wheat/rye products.
      • Honey/foods with high-fructose corn syrup.
      • Candy/gum with sweeteners ending in “-ol.”

Foods you can eat include:

  • Lactose-free dairy products,  low-lactose cheese.
  • Leafy greens, eggplant, potatoes etc.
  • Raspberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Gluten-free flours/breads and grains like oats, sorghum, buckwheat, millet, quinoa.
  • Poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, leanly cut beef.
  • Peanuts, almonds, nut butters.
  • Unsweetened drinks (coffee/tea).

Other diets you can follow are:

  • High fiber.
  • Low fiber.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Elimination.
  • Low-fat.

While nutrition is the key to feeling better if you have IBS, everyone is different. Examine your own diet and speak with your doctor before making major changes.



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