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What should your diet consist of if you have IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)?

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  • Some tips to get started: Avoid chocolate, fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, the artificial sweetener sorbitol (found in sugarless gum and mints), and fructose (the sugar in honey and many fruits). These can often make diarrhea symptoms worse.
  • Be careful with fiber, but you don’t have to avoid it altogether. It’s good for you in other ways, like preventing colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Plus, it keeps your diarrhea from turning into constipation. That said, too much fiber sometimes leads to gas and bloating. For IBS-D, it's best to eat the soluble kind of fiber. It takes longer to leave your digestive system. You can get it in oat bran, barley, the flesh of fruit (as opposed to the skin), and navy, pinto, and lima beans.
  • Drink plenty of water every day. Try having a glass an hour before or an hour after meals, instead of while you eat. When you drink water with food, it may make the food move through your system a little faster.

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, professor of medicine, University of Michigan.

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, Bethesda, MD.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable bowel syndrome." 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 8, 2020

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, professor of medicine, University of Michigan.

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, Bethesda, MD.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable bowel syndrome." 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on March 8, 2020

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