IBS Diet ADVICE

I would like to introduce you to IBS DIETS that really work, the right foods to feel a real improvement in your symptoms. As you're about to discover the best food plans including low FODMAPs, gluten & lactose free and much more.

By now, I expect you have already noticed that certain foods upset your IBS. It's no real surprise that the "fuel" we eat should have an influence on our bodies. You here it all the time from those self-professed lifestyle gurus, but they really do have a point. 

Diet for IBS doesn't mean you have to starve...quite the contrary. So let's look at the options available to you...

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Woman Enjoying The Right IBS Diet

Basic IBS Diet Advice

We all like routine don't we? Well your bowel is no different. These basic principles will serve you well...

  • EATING MEALS IRREGULARLY IS BAD for your gut. 
  • NEVER SKIP MEALS as this only 'confuses' your bowel and can make your symptoms worse.
  • TRY EATING AT THE SAME TIME each day and avoid eating late night snacking. 
  • DON'T RUSH YOUR FOOD as this can cause cramps, particularly when air is swallowed as a result.
  • DON’T OVER EAT as this can cause over-stimulation 
  • SMALL and REGULAR meals maybe more beneficial
  • AVOID alcohol, caffeine related drinks (including tea, coffee and fizzy drinks such as cola). They are all Irritable Bowel Syndrome trigger foods.
  • AVOID SPICY FOODS
The Key To IBS Freedom

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Food Diary

Keeping a FOOD DIARY is a great way to determine which foods may be upsetting your IBS.

You can keep a record of your diet for as long as you want, but for at least 2-3 weeks as an absolute minimum. You can also record your symptoms during the exercise.

Having a diary can help you to understand your IBS more as patterns can emerge. DON'T FORGET digestion is a lengthy process. Your symptoms might not be caused by the food you ate that day,  so look for PATTERNS  in previous foods you've had too.

This information is not only good for you, but can be useful when you see your doctor or IBS dietician. It can also be helpful when you are excluding foods that you think might be having an effect on your symptoms.

I've provided downloadable IBS food diary sheets for your convenience. 

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The Low FODMAP Diet

Learn About An IBS FODMAP Diet Picture Link

There is no doubt that a LOW FODMAP IBS DIET has revolutionised the way we manage IBS.

FODMAP is an abbreviation for fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides , monosaccharides and polyols which are found in common fruits and vegetables which we eat.

Avoiding the FODMAPS your gut is sensitive to can make a significant difference to your symptoms. For advice on this, take a look at the low FODMAP diet section for more information including free printable diet sheets.

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The RIght Diet for YOUR IBS

Picture Of A Family Enjoying An IBS Diet

The saying “you are what you eat” really is true, because what you eat does make a difference. And the sort of foods you have in your diet depends on the type of irritable bowel syndrome you have.

So here are my IBS diet recommendations for you:

If you suffer from diarrhoea and wind you need:

A low fibre diet or an exclusion diet

If you suffer from diarrhoea and constipation you need:

A high fibre diet and if this fails an exclusion diet. 

If you suffer from constipation and wind or bloating you need:

A constipation diet consisting of low fibre foods with the addition of laxatives if the low fibre is not sufficient. 

If you suffer from Constipation without wind or bloating you need:

A high fibre diet plus the addition of laxatives if this isn't enough to control your symptoms.

I've provided free downloadable diet sheets for IBS for each type (IBS-D, IBS-C and IBS-A).

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A Good Diet FOR IBS SHOULD CONTAIN:

All RECOMMENDED IBS diets should contain protein containing foods including fresh meats, poultry and eggs.

Excluding these foods could lead to nutritional deficiencies in the longer term.

If you feel that you have a problem with one or more of these you can keep a IBS food diary to see which meats or poultry make your symptoms worse.

Low Fibre Advice

Picture Showing Preparation Of A Low Fiber Meal As Part Of An IBS Diet

Low fibre mealsshould be balanced and incorporate the following:

  • White bread rather than brown or granary
  • Pasta and rice, BUT not wholemeal
  • Cereals that don’t contain high fibre. Examples would include corn flakes and rice cereal
  • White flour containing foods
  • Fresh fruit and juices, but avoid skins and seeds
  • Vegetables, but NOT beans, pulses or corn. REMOVE skin from potatoes and other skinned vegetables as these can be triggers.

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High Fibre Advice

Picture Of High Fiber Bran And Raisons As Part Of An IBS Diet For Constipation

High fiber meals should incorporate variations of the following:

  • Brown bread, granary bread wholemeal pasta and brown rice
  • High fiber cereals including Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, Shreddies and many more
  • Brown flour
  • Fruit incorporating the skins
  • Vegetables including linseed, beans, pulses, corn and jacket potato

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Foods To Avoid - IBS EXCLUSION DIETS

Picture Of A Variety Of Different Foods As Part Of Your IBS Diet

Exclusion by definition means EXCLUSION. It's the only way of finding out what to eat.

You can then find the meals that are good for you and the ones which are bad!

The problem with this sort of ibs diet is that it takes time and commitment by YOU, as well as willpower!

Take in the following:

  • Meats – fresh meat and poultry, but avoid processed meats, burgers and sausages
  • Fresh fish – NOT processed fish, fried or battered
  • Vegetables – ALL vegetables, but avoid SKINNED potatoes, garlic, onions and peppers
  • Fruits – ALL fruits except citrus fruits such as lemon, lime and oranges
  • Cereals – Rice containing cereals only
  • Dairy – AVOID ALL dairy containing products such as milk, butter, yoghurt and replace with soya substitutes
  • Drinks – ONLY take in water, non-citrus drinks and herbal teas. AVOID alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated drinks

You might find that doing this makes little difference to your symptoms, or even causes a deterioration in your IBS! This is quite normal so keep an food diary of what you are eating each day. 

If you haven't noticed much difference, try introducing some of the foods you've been avoiding. 

If you have noticed a difference, once you've worked out everything with your food diary, you can then start REINTRODUCING some of the exclusion foods.

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Wind or Bloating Foods

Certain foods seem to INCREASE the amount of bloating and wind that you experience.

Notorious examples of these include nuts, dried fruits, baked beans, pulses, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Fizzy beers (Lagers) and carbonated drinks such as cola drinks and Lemonade can also make symptoms worse.

Try AVOIDING these foods, but again gradually reintroduce them into your meals to determine which ones are TRIGGERING your IBS.

Lactose

Some sufferers have lactose intolerance rather than IBS as the symptoms can be really similar.

The diagnosis can be made easily either by having a lactose tolerance test

If you suffer from this, you should consider a lactose free diet which can be used alongside your IBS DIET PLAN.

Gluten FOODs

Avoiding gluten containing foods is a common thing to do, because IBS is associated with SECONDARY GLUTEN INTOLERANCE. You can find out more about this, including the foods to avoid on the gluten allergy symptoms page.

Other Pages That May Interest You:

IBS and Alcohol

Peppermint Oil For Your IBS


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