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Dietary Recommendations for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Did you know that there are dietary recommendations for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

That’s right: the consumption of some foods can be positive for patients with this condition.

Irritable bowel syndrome is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause several problems to sufferers. Specifically, it causes symptoms based on abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. In addition, it can lead to intolerance to certain foods. However, it’s a pathology in which food has a great influence.

So, through diet, we can significantly alleviate its symptoms and improve its development.

For this reason, we’re going to present a series of foods whose consumption can serve as an aid in the treatment of this disease. However, you mustn’t forget to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Dietary recommendations for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): What are the options?

As stated in an article published in Gastroenterology & Hepatology, foods can both exacerbate or improve the symptoms of irritable bowel disease. Therefore, dietary interventions are considered an important part of the treatment of this disease.

So, what are the dietary recommendation for IBS?

Probiotics to improve irritable bowel syndrome

Scientific literature provides evidence of the efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of this syndrome. They are, as you probably know, bacteria that colonize the intestinal tract, causing several health benefits.

Every day, we’re discovering more and more applications of these microorganisms in the treatment and prevention of diseases. They’re traditionally used to improve the symptoms of diarrhea resulting from the use of antibiotics.

However, scientists recently discovered that they help to significantly reduce the pain and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can be found in fermented milk, yogurt, and kefir. However, one of the main characteristics of this disease is the need for individualization.

Therefore, among patients, we can find several individuals who reflect the consumption of dairy derivatives and lactose-containing foods. In this type of situation, supplementation is advised.

Fiber may improve the symptoms of irritable bowel disease

Experts have linked dietary fiber with the selective growth of bacterial microflora. An article published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics suggests that the intake of this substance reduces the problems of this disease.

For this reason, the consumption of foods rich in pectins, such as apples and pears, is recommended. In addition, the body’s reaction to the inclusion of oats in the diet can also be evaluated. The intake of beta-glucans from this cereal contributes significantly to the improvement of the composition of the microbiota.

At the same time, the incidence of gluten consumption in this type of syndromes is being studied, but no evidence has yet been established. However, experts discourage the consumption of whole grains so as not to produce imbalances in intestinal transit.

Hydration is essential

It’s important to stay hydrated if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Episodes of diarrhea, frequent in this type of pathology, can cause imbalances in the water balance. Dehydration can be fatal, especially in the elderly.

For this reason, we recommend the consumption of at least 2 liters of water per day. It’s important to limit the consumption of fructose, the digestion of which is heavy and sometimes uncomfortable. With this in mind, you should avoid soft drinks.

Alcohol is also an element that you should avoid if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. This substance, apart from being toxic, produces imbalances in the water and electrolyte balance that can compromise the health of the individual. Likewise, experts warn against the consumption of coffee, tea, and spicy or irritating foods that hinder digestion.


Irritable bowel syndrome is a highly individual inflammatory disease. For this reason, the dietary recommendations for IBS that are good for one patient may be bad for another. It’s necessary to test your tolerance to different products before including them systematically in your diet.

However, some dietary strategies can significantly improve disease symptomatology. Most of them consist of positively modulating the bacterial growth of the intestine.

You can do this by increasing the consumption of fermented dairy products and soluble fiber. The ingestion of pectin from apples and pears produces a fermentation at the intestinal level, which triggers the selective growth of certain intestinal bacteria.

The effects of a gluten-free diet in the treatment of the disease are also the subject of current studies. In addition, specialists are beginning to implement innovative therapies such as stool transplantation, with promising results in the medium term.

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