Common Sense

There are no hard and fast rules for fibre with IBS.  However there is common sense and your own experience a combination of the two should see you find the right path for you.  Many years ago a source I trusted implicitly and who had helped me enormously assured me that I needed plenty of fibre.

So on I ploughed, for some time before acknowledging that fibre and I were no friend.  The argument for fibre is very strong and for many it is imperative that fibre is ingested so I carried on ignoring the obvious negative effects.  If you suffer with swift motility issues in relationship to IBS then fibre will simply increase that frequency.

Can’t Go

Without wishing to state the obvious, fibre is absolutely vital for those who suffer constipation.  In particular insoluble fibre will generally assist in increasing the slow motility issues you may have.  Other factors such as stress and diet in general may need to be addressed, however it is a great natural place to start.

For sufferers of constipation, fibre not only assists with motility, it also is believed to aid the removal of toxins that may develop if food is not passed through the system.  The chart below lists some of the key benefits of fibre and also lists the differences between soluble and insoluble fibre.

Fibre and IBS

Fibre and IBS - Friend or Foe ?

Fibre is one of our favourite topics.  It encapsulates the ridiculously vague nature of the term IBS and the notion that there is one way to treat IBS.

Fibre is often referenced in regard to IBS and rightly so, as it does play a huge role in the management of the condition.  Fibre is a double edged sword as for some IBS it is vital and for others very damaging.  

When you have a condition where some sufferers can not visit the restroom enough, while others can barely stay away there will never be one answer.

Throw into that the fact that, not only is fibre good for some and not for others, it may also depend on the type of fibre as to whether you should be eating plenty of fibre.

Can’t stop

For those who suffer frequent motility issues fibre must be consumed with care.  There is so much information regarding the importance of fibre in the diet, the temptation is to think that you must include it in your diet at all costs.

I am considered a reasonably intelligent person and yet I carried on with fibre for a long time, even after it became clear that it was making things worse, purely because I’d become so conditioned by the constant clarion calls that fibre was the right thing for me.

If you suffer frequent or rapid motility then cutting out insoluble fibre will help you to slow down the process of motility. Fruits may also be a problem even though they contain largely soluble fibre, motility is often increased.  Breakfasts can be tricky as a result of the issues posed by fibre, as many cereals are purposefully made to be rich in fibre.  We do recommend basic cereals such as cornflakes and rice krispies to make your early day a lot more comfortable.

The GI diet and the reduction of rapid release of sugars into the bloodstream, has seen the further promotion of fibre rich products such as brown rice.  Many IBS sufferers will have discovered that brown rice and IBS do not go.  The net result is that you are left eating foods which may release energy into the system too quickly.  It is here that common sense is required in selecting low fibre firm foods. For example,  choose a long grain rice as opposed to a Jasmine rice/ Glutenous Rice, a firm waxy potato as opposed to a floury one.

Not all fibre is to be avoided. Soluble fibre may assist, in particular Psyllium Husk is very gentle and does not appear to generate a rapid reaction.  Many sufferers of high motility IBS find that fibre such as this should be moderated and taken when comfortable and suitable to do so.

You decide

While we believe passionately that a healthy diet is important, you may find that you have to adapt it to you.  Our uniqueness makes life difficult for those trying to assist with our dietary needs. In general for the population at large fibre is necessary however with IBS there is no hard and fast rule with fibre, you have to base your inclusion of fibre on your own symptoms..

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But they are good for you ?