Dietary intervention strategy

Food is a common culprit in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) so it is essential to consider what you eat. Not all patients universally respond to all diets, only a subset of patients can benefit from a particular diet. Every patient must figure out the foods right for him. And when the suitable diet is identified, it is not supposed to last forever. First, the suitable starting restrictive diet should be selected, then the foods that can be safely reintroduced should be determined. Some patients may benefit from the removal of only one food. If the diet perceptibly helps, responders should try to gradually reintroduce the excluded foods in order to identify the ones that are well tolerated and can be used to diversify their diet. The foods even occasionally provoking or worsening the symptoms should remain excluded.

The low-FODMAP diet is currently very popular for IBS, but even more restrictive diet might be selected as the starting point. Most patients are able to reintroduce some FODMAP-containing foods while maintaining adequate control of their symptoms.

Regardless of the selected starting diet, keeping the food diary is essential for working out the optimal personal diet. The food diary or journal is a detailed daily log of all the consumed foods and the consequences of their consumption such as the presence of the symptoms. The accumulated records often hint at both the foods worsening the symptoms, which should be excluded from the diet, and the safe foods.