Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine (colon), causing symptoms including cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a chronic condition that needs to be managed long term and unfortunately for sufferers, there is currently no specific diagnostic test for IBS.
Newly published guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology support the use of several dietary treatments including increased soluble fibre (10 grams of psyllium per day), probiotics and peppermint oil. Interestingly, insoluble fibers (such as in wheat bran) may exacerbate symptoms and provide little relief. For probiotics, it is not clear yet which ones in terms of species of bacteria and the form they are found in are most beneficial.
Gluten-free and low-FODMAP diets show promise in reducing symptoms for sufferers, however their precise role/s in the management of IBS need to be defined by further research.
For new guidelines, see link below: