IBS management through diet

February 24, 2014, Monash University

A long-term study has shown that those who suffer irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can effectively manage the condition by avoiding certain types of foods that trigger their symptoms.

Monash researchers have provided evidence from a long-term study that a diet low in foods belonging to a family of carbohydrates, FODMAPs (fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) effectively reduces symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). FODMAPs are poorly absorbed by the digestive tract.

IBS affects one in seven adults and is the most common condition presenting to gastroenterologists. The research team at Monash University has shown in earlier short-term studies that a diet low in FODMAPs may be used to control associated with this condition. However a well-controlled longer-term study was required.

Published in the leading and most influential journal in the field Gastroenterology, Professor Peter Gibson's and Dr Jane Muir's research supports the low FODMAP diet as first-line therapy for IBS sufferers. Indeed, FODMAP-containing foods were featured on the cover of this prestigious journal.

"Our study investigated the effects of a diet low in FODMAPs compared with a typical western diet, in a randomised, controlled trial of patients with IBS," Dr Muir said.

"People with IBS following the low FODMAP diet experienced significantly fewer gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, discomfort and pain."

FODMAPs are poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates fermented by gut bacteria that produce gas and IBS . Confusingly, FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods including onion, garlic, wheat, rye and fruit including apples and pears.

"Although we have shown in earlier short-term studies that the diet is effective, a long-term study was required," Professor Gibson said.

"The strengths of our research include the comparison of the degree of symptom benefit of the low FODMAP diet compared with a typical Australian diet.

"The high level of evidence produced by this study is very important and should lead to changes in practices and treatment paradigms."

Beyond filling the critical gap in evidence, this latest Monash study confirms the need for ongoing quality research around this topic.

"Much of the information available to the general public and clinicians about managing IBS is not evidence-based and therefore unreliable. For example, the value of hydrogen breath tests is now questionable and many online and hardcopy publications provide inaccurate FODMAP food content," Professor Gibson said.

"The recently developed Monash University Low FODMAP diet app not only provides accurate information about foods that trigger IBS reactions but also provides regularly updated and accurate information on this evolving story."

Explore further: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity's existence questioned

Related Stories

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity's existence questioned

August 23, 2013
(HealthDay)—There is no evidence that gluten is a trigger in patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) placed on a low fermentable, oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAP) diet, according to a study ...

New blood test could help millions of patients with gastrointestinal disorders

October 16, 2013
For the first time, a simple blood test may be the best way to determine if a patient is suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or another serious condition such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD,) according to Cedars-Sinai ...

Researcher: Hypnosis should be offered to patients with IBS

December 18, 2012
Hypnotherapy helps fight IBS symptoms. These are the findings of a thesis from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden which proposes implementing this treatment method into the care of severe sufferers of this ...

Biomarkers can reveal irritable bowel syndrome

May 7, 2012
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is hard to diagnose as well as treat, but researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have discovered a way of confirming the disorder using stool samples.

New drug to help common bowel disease

October 29, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—An international team led by University of Adelaide researchers has identified the mechanism of pain relief of a new drug for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C), based on nonclinical ...

Researchers describe new form of irritable bowel syndrome

September 5, 2013
UCLA researchers have described a new form of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that occurs after an acute bout of diverticulitis, a finding that may help lead to better management of symptoms and relief for patients.

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.