Food For Thought: The Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Symptoms
“Food For Thought” is a recurring column on bellyblog.ca, where we will share a well-curated collection of high quality, thought-provoking pieces, usually about food, diet, nutrition, and the gut.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a complex syndrome characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. It’s very common, and can have a major impact on quality of life. Read more about IBS here.
Despite IBS making up about 30% of all consults to a gastroenterologist (in my practice, I’d say it makes up upwards of 75% of all consults!), our understanding of what causes it is still pretty poor. As a result, our treatments often focus on managing the symptoms.
One thing we do know is that for a lot of IBS sufferers, diet plays an important role in causing symptoms, and dietary manipulation is often suggested as a first-line therapy. The most common foods that trigger IBS are dairy, gluten, and FODMAPs, so elimination of these foods commonly recommended. Read more about elimination diets here.
Here’s a fantastic article I wanted to share from a well-respected scientific journal discussion the relationship between food and IBS symptoms. A “must-read” for anyone with IBS, in my opinion.