The contribution of specific foods to the genesis of symptoms in
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been increasingly recognised
in recent years.
This article discusses the dietary triggers for IBS and the role of
diagnostic testing in patients with IBS.
In addition to the long standing implication of lactose in lactase
deficient patients, fermentable dietary oligosaccharides,
disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, together with
very low carbohydrate diets, have been increasingly recognised
as important in the causation and treatment of irritable bowel
syndrome. Understanding their role and utilising the services of
a practising dietician have become additional important tools for
general practitioners managing this common complaint.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic illness of disordered bowel function and abdominal pain or discomfort, and is frequently accompanied by abdominal bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome affects patients physically, psychologically, socially and economically.1 This assumes great importance both in terms of quality of life and the economic burden of disease.
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