Diet therapy for irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

By | March 19, 2024

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a rare disorder but now with changing life style it’s encountering many people. Its not an acute disorder. It’s the result of bad eating habits, an unhealthy lifestyle, depression and stress for a longer duration. Diet plays a very important role to reduce the symptoms of IBS such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, gas etc. All these symptoms are very common but cant be managed by a strict diet regime. Diet therapy for IBS works in combination with the other therapy to give faster results.

When an individual is suffering from IBS they the body reacts to certain food differently. Body accepts some food without causing any discomfort whereas for certain food it causing severe discomfort, pain and bowel disturbances. So first thing and IBS patient should do is to maintain a food diary. Food dairy should list down all the meals taken during the day also along with the amount of water drunk during the day specifying the time. Even a small snacks item should be entered in the diary. This is best record and best helping hand to identify the culprit food item causing discomforIBS2t in the patient. You can eliminate that food from the diet. This will give you a list of food items which your body is not comfortable with, so avoid those foods in your diet. This list is very individualistic. So two IBS patients will not have exact same list of foods to be avoided.

Diet modification will help on a larger extent specially modifying the type of fiber. Soluble fibers are easily digested by the body whereas insoluble fibers are not digested. So insoluble fiber will cause discomfort for an IBS patient.

Foods that contain soluble fibre include:

  • oats
  • barley
  • rye
  • fruit, such as bananas and apples
  • root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes

Foods that contain insoluble fiber include:

  • wholegrain bread
  • bran
  • cereals
  • nuts and seeds

If you suffering from IBS with constipation, increasing intake of soluble fiber in your diet and intake of water you drink in a day.

If you suffering from IBS with diarrhea, you may cut down on the insoluble fiber you consume.

Eating tips

  • Eat meals at regular intervals and take your time when eating your food.
  • Do not miss meals and avoid leaving long gaps between two meals.
  • Drink at least 10-12 glasses of fluid in a day, particularly water and other non-caffeinated drinks such as herbal tea. Avoid carbonated drinks too.
  • Restrict your tea and coffee intake to a maximum of three small cups a day. make tea coffee very mild.
  • Do not drink alcohol and fizzy drinks .
  • Reduce intake of  processed or re-cooked foods.
  • Include fruits in your diet. 3 medium size fruits in a day should be sufficient.
  • If you facing bloating problem stop cereals for 6 weeks and increase intake of flaxseeds. (2 tablespoon a day)

Exercise: Its seen that exercise also helps to lower the IBS symptoms. 30 mins daily brisk walk or any form of strenuous exercise should be incorporated in the daily routine.

Probiotics: Probiotics also work wonders in improving the microbial health of the patients gut.They contain so-called “friendly bacteria” that supposedly destroy “bad bacteria”, helping to keep your gut and digestive system healthy.


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RD Neha Kava

National Registered Dietitian at
Neha Kava is a National Registered Dietitian, Certified Sports Nutritionist in India. She specializes ins Clinical Nutrition, weight management. She likes to spread awareness and educate her readers about health, nutrition, fitness, mental health, sexual health and diet tips for holistic health. You can connect with her on Or

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