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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet

Although there are no specific foods that cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), certain foods and drinks can improve or worsen symptoms of this digestive condition. However, each person is different in how various foods affect him or her. Some foods that may worsen IBS symptoms include dairy products, gas-producing foods, and gluten. Some beneficial foods may include those that contain fiber.

Is There a Specific Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

There are no specific foods that cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, for people who already have IBS, diet choices can affect their symptoms. Some choices may relieve symptoms; others can make them worse.
The challenge is -- each person is different in how specific foods and drinks affect their symptoms. So what do you do?
The first step is to develop a systematic approach for testing the impact of certain foods and drinks on your symptoms. You should also educate yourself on possible foods to avoid and those that may be beneficial. Finally, you should involve your healthcare provider in this process. Working together, you can create a plan that fits your lifestyle.

Developing the Systematic Approach

In order to create a systematic approach, begin by keeping a diary to document your food intake and IBS symptoms. This diary should include what you eat, when you eat, what symptoms you get, and when those symptoms occur.
Besides the food intake, you should also write down other possible factors that may play a role in symptoms, such as stress, time of the day, whether you missed any meals, etc. This will allow you to have a better understanding of all potential triggers and to see if there is a correlation between food and these factors.
For example, many women experience IBS symptoms around the time of their menstrual cycle. Documenting food intake around this time will help you see if there is a relationship between your menstrual cycle, certain foods, and IBS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Information

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