Which dietary measures may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Jenifer K Lehrer, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Dietary measures may include the following:

  • Fiber supplementation may improve the symptoms of constipation and diarrhea

  • Polycarbophil compounds (eg, Citrucel, FiberCon) may produce less flatulence than psyllium compounds (eg, Metamucil)

  • Judicious water intake is recommended in patients who predominantly experience constipation

  • Caffeine avoidance may limit anxiety and symptom exacerbation

  • Legume avoidance may decrease abdominal bloating

  • Lactose, fructose, and/or FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) should be limited or avoided in patients with these contributing disorders

  • Probiotics are being studied for their use in decreasing IBS symptoms


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