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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Health Center

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A Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) With Constipation

Try Prunes and Liquids for IBS

Some fruity foods that are higher in the sugar sorbitol, such as dried plums (prunes) and prune juice, can also loosen bowels if you have IBS. But people with IBS should take care not to consume too much sorbitol. It can cause gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.

Also, try ground flaxseed to ease IBS constipation symptoms, says Bonci. It can be sprinkled on salads, cooked vegetables, and cereals.

Another way to encourage bowel movements is to drink plenty of liquids like water and juice.

On the other hand, fluids such as coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol have a dehydrating effect. Those drinks can actually make your IBS constipation worse.

Limit Highly Refined Foods if You Have IBS

Highly refined foods fill you up without providing the fiber and nutrients you need. People with IBS should avoid eating too many refined foods such as:

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • Certain cereals without fiber
  • Chips
  • Cookies

Also, a high-protein, low-carb diet can worsen your constipation. You need protein, of course, but don't cut out carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. Constipation is a common side effect of some popular low-carb diets.

Dine at Leisure if You Have IBS

Whether you have IBS or not, too often we eat on the run or at our desks. Eating in such a rush reduces the pleasure you get from a meal, and can actually trigger IBS symptoms.

So while you're eating, try not to do other things, such as drive or sit in front of the computer. At worse, the stress from traffic or work may trigger symptoms. At best, it may make you eat more quickly and swallow more air, causing gas or bloating.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 30, 2014
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