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Fiber and IBS

If you have IBS, you may have heard about fiber and its effects on Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Eating a good amount of fiber is one of the main ways to help prevent IBS. By recognizing both the health benefits of fiber and how it affects your symptoms, you can effectively use fiber to reduce IBS discomfort. There are many types of fiber, each with their own features to help your symptoms.

Fiber is mainly found in whole grains. Bread, spaghetti and other wheat products are high in fiber to aid your digestive system. In addition, most fruits and vegetables will help to increase fiber in your diet. High fiber foods are known to have a direct effect on the Bowel Syndrome and digestive tract. Sometimes, IBS is an indication that your diet is not high in fiber.

One type of fiber is soluble fiber. Soluble fiber relieves the digestive tract, and helps prevent both diarrhea and constipation - both of the IBS face. Soluble fiber is usually found in starchy foods such as:


  • rice

  • pasta

  • oats

  • potatoes

  • sweetpotato

  • mushrooms

  • banana

  • Apple

Soluble fiber is capable of dissolving fluids, including the water you drink with your meal. This water absorption enables the fibers to move easily and quickly through the digestive tract. Drinking plenty of water with your food will help the soluble fiber to be most effective.

Another type of fiber is insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is usually found in certain food cellulose. Seeds, root vegetables, cabbage, wheat bran and corn bran also contain insoluble fiber. Although insoluble fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, people with IBS should be careful to avoid insoluble fiber on an empty stomach as this may worsen your symptoms.

During IBS attacks, you may find that consuming extra fiber will help to relax your digestive system, and restore it to normal. You may want to consider fiber supplements, such as Metamucil or Fibercon, to relieve your symptoms.

As you begin to increase your fiber intake, be aware that your body has its limitations. If you are not used to a high fiber diet, be sure to introduce fiber slowly. This will give your body an opportunity to process fiber. Over time, your body will adjust, and you will be able to increase your daily intake of fiber.

Fiber is a part of a healthy, balanced diet, and it is especially important for people with IBS. It can help reduce symptoms, as well as prevent them. The recommended minimum fiber intake of 25-33 grams per day is definitely better.



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