If not treated in its early stages, IBS can further impair the quality of life and cause more discomfort. However, it is essential to know that IBS has not been linked with bowel cancer.

IBS symptoms can easily be treated in a number of ways. Treatments include; changing your diet and lifestyle, taking medication and psychological treatment.

Diet and Lifestyle

Changing your diet can have an immense impact on IBS symptoms and provide effective relief. As there is no “one size fits all”, a diet that might work for person “A”, may not work for person “B”. The diet that will work best for you, will depend upon your symptoms and an how you react to different foods. It is therefore a good idea to keep a food diary and record which foods have an affect on your diet, whether positive or negative. This will allow you to identify which foods trigger your IBS or make it worse and avoid them.

Fibre

It is advisable for people with IBS to change their lifestyle by increasing the amount of fibre in their diet. Fibre can be of two types, soluble and insoluble. Fibre which the body can  digest, is known as soluble fibre and fibre that cannot be digested by the body, is known as insoluble fibre.

Below is a short list of foods that are rich in soluble fibre:

•root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes

•rye

•oats

•barley

•golden linseeds

•fruits such as bananas and apples

The list below identifies foods that contain insoluble fibre are:

•cereals

•bran

•wholegrain bread

•nuts and seeds (except golden linseeds)

Cutting down on your intake of insoluble fibre if you have IBS with diarrhoea,  may help in treating your IBS. Avoiding the skin, pith and pips from fruit and vegetables, may also help provide comfort and relief.

 

Increasing the amount of soluble fibre in your diet, may help if you have IBS with constipation. Drinking water can also have a positive effect on your health.