Gastroenterology clinic

What dietary advice can I give patients with irritable bowel syndrome?

Andrew CF Taylor



What dietary factors can influence symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome? Here, Dr Andrew Taylor outlines his advice for dietary assessment and modification.

Article Extract

  • Irritable bowel syndrome is a heterogeneous condition. Patients have varying combinations of abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
  • Identical symptoms can occur with organic diseases such as colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease and lactose intolerance.
  • A high fibre diet is beneficial for many patients with irritable bowel syndrome. However, it is not consistently effective for pain, bloating or diarrhoea, and may even worsen these symptoms.