Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What foods help irritable bowel syndrome?"
Will added fiber aid in my digstion or make it worse?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a very common condition characterized by intermittent abdominal pain, bloating, cramping and constipation or diarrhea. The condition is classically waxing and waning, in close association with stress and emotional state. Your primary care doctor or your gastroenterologist will both be qualified to discuss lifestyle changes with you that can help improve your symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome, and I highly recommend discussing your concerns and questions with them. As you suggest, one of the main stay treatments for irritable bowel syndrome is in fact increasing the amount of fiber in the diet. This can either be through the eating of more fruits and vegetables or it can be through taking a fiber supplement. Most people with irritable bowel syndrome will find that fiber supplementation improves their symptoms quite a bit. However, as each person is different, it is hard to predict whether fiber will work for you until you try it. There is little risk or harm, however, in giving it a try. Also, many people with irritable bowel syndrome find that certain foods make their symptoms worse. It is worth trying to keep a food diary to try to correlate particular foods with flares, and making dietary adjustments accordingly.
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