When it comes to IBS and fibre, it can be a little confusing. Too much fibre can trigger IBS symptoms and too little can do the same. So what should you do if you’re suffering with IBS symptoms?
1. Understand your triggers. Keep a food and symptom diary to identify foods that might trigger your IBS symptoms. Some foods can be more triggering than others and not everyone responds to food in the same way so it is important to track your own diet rather than follow what other people have.
2. If you are trying to increase your fibre intake, start low and slow. Increasing your fibre too quickly can result in bloating and flatulence, this is because your gut bacteria ferments the fibre and a by-product of this is gas production. Building up slowly can help your gut to adjust!
3. Drink plenty of water. Fibre and water work together to help add bulk to your stools. Making sure you are drinking at least 2L of water each day will help regulate bowel movements.
4. Try psyllium husk. This is a type of fibre that has dual functionality. It helps to soften hard to pass stools, and hardens loose stools. Therefore it can be beneficial for people with both constipation and diarrhoea dominant IBS. Psyllium husk has been well researched for to support IBS symptoms.
5. Opt for low FODMAP fibre foods which can be less triggering for IBS symptoms. Examples include chia seeds, quinoa, raspberries, kiwis, oats and broccoli.
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