Eating for IBS-D focuses on three main principles:
- Minimizing insoluble fiber. Eating less insoluble fiber means that your stools will be smaller and digestive transit time will be increased, so you won’t spend all day running to the toilet.
- Increasing soluble fiber: Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive to eat more fiber to treat diarrhea, but soluble fiber is actually helpful for all types of IBS. Soluble fiber soaks up liquid in the gut to form a gel-like substance that passes smoothly through the digestive tract. The result is solid, firm stools that are passed at regular intervals.
- Avoiding FODMAP foods. Certain types of carbohydrates, known as FODMAP foods, release a lot of gas as they break down in the gut. These bubbles of gas cause pain, bloating and flatulence, and can also stop your colon from absorbing liquid correctly, leading to diarrhea.
Heather Van Varous’s book “Eating for IBS” is a great guide to a low FODMAP, low-residue diet suitable for IBS-D, being packed full of easy recipes that eliminate troublesome foods.
Heather Van Varous has suffered from IBS for over 30 years. Her experiences led her to research and develop her own range of Tummy Care products. She hosted the easy-digest cooking show “Heather Cooks!” and featured in the 4th edition of “Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare”. Heather regularly presents to researchers at the International Digestive Disease Week conference.