Gastroenterology clinic

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

Andrew CF Taylor

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Abstract

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

Remember
  • 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.

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