Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disorder characterized by abdominal discomfort and altered bowel habits. IBS can be a debilitating disorder affecting quality of life. Food intolerance is a common complaint among IBS patients and the relationship between diet and abdominal symptoms is well recognized.
Objective: Given the growing body of evidence and interest in dietary modifications in the management of IBS, we will review the current literature supporting a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates, discuss methods to assess dietary history, and integrate dietary modification strategies into clinical gastroenterology or primary care practice.
Conclusion: Recent evidence supports that dietary manipulation, including a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates, can be beneficial in patients with IBS. We believe that a time investment in dietary counseling is paramount to symptom moderation and quality of life in this population. Physicians should become knowledgeable regarding dietary assessment and counseling in the context of IBS.
Erin Ross, Mindy Lam, Christopher Andrews and Maitreyi Raman
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