IBS - Nutritional Management

Dietary guidelines

Diet and nutrition should be assessed for people with IBS and the following general advice given.

  • Have regular meals and take time to eat.

  • Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating.

  • Drink at least 8 cups of fluid per day, especially water or other non‑caffeinated drinks, for example herbal teas.

  • Restrict tea and coffee to 3 cups per day.

  • Reduce intake of alcohol and fizzy drinks.

  • It may be helpful to limit intake of high‑fibre food (such as wholemeal or high‑fibre flour and breads, cereals high in bran, and whole grains such as brown rice).

  • Reduce intake of 'resistant starch' (starch that resists digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon intact), which is often found in processed or re‑cooked foods.

  • Limit fresh fruit to 3 portions per day (a portion should be approximately 80 g).

  • People with diarrhoea should avoid sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar‑free sweets (including chewing gum) and drinks, and in some diabetic and slimming products.

  • People with wind and bloating may find it helpful to eat oats (such as oat‑based breakfast cereal or porridge) and linseeds (up to 1 tablespoon per day). [Reference]