Nutritional therapists hold that altering the diet may prevent the symptoms of IBS. One well-established strategy is to increase your intake of fiber to help regulate the bowels. However, this should be done with caution. Excessive fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, can exacerbate IBS symptoms in a few people.
Several foods or specific ingredients seem to trigger IBS in some patients. In fact, food allergies and sensitivities may play a role in the condition. The common culprits include:
- dietary fats
- monosodium glutamate
- dairy products
Nutrient deficiencies can be a problem for some people with IBS because intestinal abnormalities make absorption of certain nutrients difficult. In these cases, supplementation may be helpful.
The best way to tell if a certain food is to blame for your bouts with IBS is to keep a food and symptom diary. Record the following in your diary:
- What you eat and when
- What symptoms you experience and when they occur
- How you're feeling each day (relaxed, stressed, excited, and so on)
After about a month, any correlations should be apparent. You can also bring your diary to your physician or practitioner; it may help to identify problems.