A healthy diet is important for all of us. However, some people with IBS find certain foods of a normal healthy diet can trigger symptoms or make symptoms worse. Evidence is emerging that using the FODMAP diet may improve IBS bowel symptoms (see reference below). Current national guidelines about IBS include the following points about diet, which may help to minimise symptoms:
· Have regular meals and take time to eat at a leisurely pace.
· Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating.
· Drink at least eight cups of fluid per day, especially water or other non-caffeinated drinks such as herbal teas.
· Restrict tea and coffee to three cups per day (as caffeine may be a factor in some people).
· Restrict the amount of fizzy drinks that you have to a minimum.
· Don't drink too much alcohol. (Some people report an improvement in symptoms when they cut down from drinking a lot of alcohol, or stop smoking if they smoke.)
· Consider limiting intake of high-fibre food (but see the section above where an increase may help in some cases).
· Limit fresh fruit to three portions (of 80 g each) per day.
· If you have diarrhoea, avoid sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free sweets (including chewing gum) and in drinks, and in some diabetic and slimming products.
· If you have a lot of wind and bloating, consider increasing your intake of oats (for example, oat-based breakfast cereal or porridge) and linseeds (up to one tablespoon per day). You can buy linseeds from health food shop
· Maintain good physical fitness to improve bowel function and help reduce stress