Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)

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What about IBS and diet?

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What you eat and how you eat can affect your symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Certain foods may trigger your IBS symptoms. To help figure out which foods cause your symptoms, your doctor may suggest you keep a food diary.

Avoid or limit:

  • Dairy products including milk and cheese. Lactose intolerance symptoms can be similar to IBS symptoms.
  • Certain vegetables that increase gas (such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), and legumes (such as beans).
  • Fatty or fried foods
  • Alcohol, caffeine, or soda
  • Foods high in sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Chewing gum

Some foods can help lessen symptoms. Foods to incorporate into your diet include:

  • Dietary fiber supplements
  • Water
  • Low-fat foods
  • High carbohydrate foods (such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole grain breads)
  • Probiotics

Some lifestyle changes can also help relieve symptoms, including:

  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals
  • Smoking cessation
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques

Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related to small bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?

Small bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is considered one of the factors that may produce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The medical data from studies done on SIBO are conflicting.

Some studies show an increase in gas production by intestinal bacteria as a cause of the pain and bloating associated with IBS. However, other studies done to determine if SIBO is the cause of IBS, and if antibiotic treatment of SIBO is helpful in reducing or eliminating IBS symptoms have not been conclusive.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2014

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective to treat your case of IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Diet Question: What dietary changes have you made that have improved your case of IBS?
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