Is Fiber Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Is Fiber Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

We are all aware that fiber is good for it helps in digestion. But you may be as concerned as other people of possible negative impact of fiber on your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Large amounts of fiber may minimize diarrhea or constipation but it depends with the type of fiber you are consuming. The body reacts differently to soluble or non-soluble fiber, and each type of fiber may hurt or help you depending with the type of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms you are suffering from.

Is Fiber Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Which Type of Fiber is Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Soluble Fiber or Insoluble Fiber?

There are two types of fiber which can help or hurt irritable bowel syndrome. These two types of fiber can either trigger or minimize irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Soluble fiber will slow activities in the digestive tract thus assisting with diarrhea, whereas insoluble fiber can escalate things thus alleviating constipation.

Soluble fiber will attract water particles to create a big and globby gel that will go down the digestive tract slowly. Soluble fiber will remove excess fluid by attracting water, which is why it minimizes diarrhea. A specialist will recommend a vegetables and fruits rich in soluble to irritable bowel syndrome patients with diarrhea symptoms. These vegetables and fruits include carrots, blueberries, cucumbers, oranges and strawberries.

Your physician can also recommend psyllium supplements that are made of soluble vegetable fiber. But this will not work in all cases.

Contrary, insoluble fiber do not dissolve in water, it remains intact as it moves in the digestive system. It primarily adds bulk to your diet which helps in pulling water into the colon. This makes insoluble fiber to function well as a laxative that is why it is very beneficial for irritable bowel syndrome patients suffering from constipation.

Doctors tell patients to eat insoluble fiber rich vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, grapes, leafy greens and root vegetables to increase their consumption of insoluble fiber. Other products such as bread which are made up of whole grains, cereals, brown rice, bran, and rolled oats are rich in insoluble fibers too.

How to Increase Your Fiber Intake for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

A dietary fiber can promote the functionality of your digestive system. However, high intake of fiber at once can cause bloating and gassy feeling because your body is not used to such high amounts of fiber.

According to irritable bowel syndrome specialists, taking of vegetables and fruits will develop some gas. They says that everyone has a settling time frame with fiber. After a certain period of time your body will get used to high levels of fiber.

You should take 2 and a half cups of high fiber vegetables and 2 cups of high fiber fruits daily to include fiber in your diet for managing irritable bowel syndrome. Also take whole grains instead of refined grains. Eat bran muffins, whole grain breads, brown rice, whole grain cereals and oatmeal instead of white rice, white cereals and refined grains.

When purchasing packed foods, check the nutrition labels and buy those that has five grams and more fiber content per serving.

You should make these changes gradually for smooth and easy transition.

Foods that are High in Fiber for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Good amounts of fiber are found in whole grain cereals, whole grain breads, vegetables and fruits. Eating fruits from these categories will increase fiber content in your diet and help with irritable bowel syndrome. Try to include a form of fiber in each meal. Do this gradually to prevent bloating and gassy feeling. Gradual process will improve your condition as well as get your system used to high levels of fiber.

The following foods for irritable bowel syndrome contain good amounts of fiber:

  • Black beans
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Bran Cereal
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Dry fruits
  • Canned or cooked fresh fruits with skins,
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Fresh cooked vegetables
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lima beans
  • Oats, nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Raisins
  • Split peas
  • whole grains cereals & breads
  • Yams

Other Sources of Good Fiber for Patients of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Apart from eating foods reach in fiber for managing irritable bowel syndrome, you can also take bulk forming supplements like:

  • Polycarbophil or Equalactin or FiberCon orMitrolan.
  • Citruel or Methylcellulose.
  • Psyllium or Fiberall or Konsyl-D or Metamucil.

It is also important to take more fluids such as decaffeinated beverages and water as you increase your fiber intake. Take 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. Exercises and probiotics such as healthy bacteria found in probiotic supplements or yoghurt may assist in minimizing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):
  2. Mayo Clinic – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):
  3. US National Library of Medicine – The Impact of Soluble Dietary Fibers on Gastric Motor Functions and Symptoms in Patients with Functional Dyspepsia:

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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