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Is Oatmeal Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

There is no proper reason as to why one suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. Often the condition of irritable bowel syndrome gives rise to a very slow or fast movement of the bowels leading to constipation or diarrhoea or sometimes both. It is found that certain food items work as a trigger to these symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome while other food helps to control the same. One such healthy food is oatmeal. It is still preferable if you consult with your doctor before including oatmeal to your diet.

The relationship between fibre and irritable bowel syndrome is complex. What you can generally say it that fibrous food helps to ease you of the adverse symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. The fibre you are consuming helps to expand your intestines, which prevents any kind of spasm from occurring. The same is also found to prevent pain in the stomach due to cramping. Fibrous food also controls the bowel movements and helps a person to get rid of constipation. The Linus Pauling Institute’s research on relationship of fibre with irritable bowel syndrome tells the same. In case your symptom of irritable bowel syndrome is diarrhoea, fibre may not be helpful and if you consume too much of fibre then your situation can worsen.

Is Oatmeal Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Is Oatmeal Good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

One of the food items which contain a lot of fibre is oatmeal. If you include oatmeal in your diet chart, the fibre intake in your body shall immediately increase. It is known that 4 grams of soluble fibre is there within one cup of oatmeal. This soluble fibre when goes inside your stomach forms a thick gel like substance within your intestines.

This further reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Other than soluble fibre, oatmeal is also known to contain a little amount of insoluble fibre which does not form a gel within the intestine rather sweeps like a broom. This becomes sensitive to a person suffering from diarrhea.

Should Irritable Bowel Syndrome Sufferers Include Oatmeal in your Daily Diet?

The response to food like oatmeal varies from patient to patient suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. One of the ways to find out whether oatmeal is good for you helping to treat your irritable bowel syndrome is to experiment with your diet. You might find your doctor suggesting to maintain a diary where you can note down about the symptoms you are facing after you try various kinds of food. In the same way, you can note down if oatmeal has aggravated your symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or ease the same. It is also worth a try if you increase the fibre intake in your diet by taking in oatmeal and other fibrous food slowly over a week or two. When you seem to notice that the symptoms are worsening, you can choose to avoid oatmeal immediately.

Some people are known to suffer from variations of irritable bowel syndrome like IBS Diarrhea and IBS Constipation. These people often find oatmeal as a safe food during their breakfast. Other than the fact that oatmeal can be easily cooked, like brown rice it also contains both soluble and insoluble fibre. Thus for people who need to increase the fibre intake in their diet, oatmeal is very helpful. For other patients of IBS Diarrhea or any variation of irritable bowel syndrome, oatmeal can result in worsening of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome since it contains insoluble fibre which the digestive system might find difficult to process.


  1. Nutrients – Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/
  2. Mayo Clinic – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Symptoms & Causes: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
  3. The Linus Pauling Institute – Fiber: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/fiber

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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