What’s the best diet for IBS?

For people with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, the telltale symptoms — bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and abdominal pain — are impossible to ignore. A bad day can leave you wondering, “Was it something I ate?” and unfortunately, it’s not in your head — an overwhelming majority of people living with IBS have found that different foods make their symptoms worse. 

The tricky thing about IBS is that there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach to treatment — including dietary guidance — and navigating the plethora of information on diet and nutrition for IBS can feel extremely frustrating. Fortunately, a GI Registered Dietitian can help you with a personalized plan.

Recent research has identified many different approaches to managing IBS symptoms with a specific IBS diet plan. For some patients, this is a low FODMAP diet. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols — hard-to-pronounce chemical names for different types of fibers and sugars that are easy to find in many of the foods we eat. 

High FODMAP foods include certain fruits and vegetables (such as peaches, plums, apples, asparagus, brussel sprouts and mushrooms), beans and legumes, high-fructose corn syrup, natural sugars such as honey, , certain alliums (onions and garlic), lactose-containing dairy products, and grain products made with wheat. Researchers reviewed several different diets for IBS, and found that a low FODMAP diet was the most effective in reducing symptoms for many of the patients in the study. 

That said, a low FODMAP diet or any diet plan may not be for everyone — one study found that 30% of patients IBS symptoms were not alleviated with standard dietary intervention. There are also situations in which following a low FODMAP diet may not be necessary or appropriate. That’s why Oshi Health takes a whole-person approach to diagnosing and treating IBS, with GI Registered Dietitians working alongside GI providers, GI Behavioral Health providers, and GI Health Coaches to get to the root cause of your symptoms and provide you with guidance and tools to help you find relief.

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