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Diet in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Floch, Martin H. M.D., MACG; Narayan, Rathi M.D.

Section Editor(s): Wald, Arnold; Modlin, Irvin M.; Floch, Martin H.

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: July 2002 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p S45–S52
Yale University Workshop on Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Therapy

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often request dietary recommendations. They must eat, and they want to know what to eat. Present national guidelines recommend dietary treatment with fiber for IBS patients with constipation. Diet recommendations are made based on symptoms. There may be different dietary recommendations for constipation, diarrhea, and pain or bloating. This article reviews the relationship of foods to IBS and. issues of food intolerances and hypersensitivities, and recommendations for diet therapy. The role of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is reviewed. Although there are few studies to substantiate exac; diets, broad dietary plans are recommended for the different symptoms of IBS. In addition, the recent literature on probiotics and prebiotics pertinent to IBS is reviewed.

Gastroenterology & Nutrition Section, Norwalk Hospital, and Yale University School of Medicine. Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Martin H. Floch, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 30 Stevens Street, Suite E, Norwalk, CT 06856. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.