The link between IBS Symptoms and Fibre Intake:
IBS & Fibre: What role does fibre play in IBS treatment?
IBS sufferers often get conflicting information about high fibre foods for IBS from their doctors, nutritionists and from the internet.  It is difficult to sort through the topic of IBS and fibre on your own.  There have been studies with IBS-constipation predominant patients looking at the effects of increasing soluble fibre on their symptoms and found that moderate amounts (5g/day) of partially hydrolyzed gaur gum (PHGG) reduced symptoms.  However, Insoluble fibre has no beneficial effect on symptoms for most people and can often make bloating, discomfort and pain worse.  Thus, the advice to ‘increase insoluble fibre’ by large amounts should NOT be followed, as this is OUTDATED information on IBS and fibre.
Below are examples of Soluble vs. Insoluble Fibre:

Soluble Fibre 

Examples: psyllium, guar gum.
  • dissolves in water and forms a gel.  Can increase intestinal gas when it gets chewed up by the gut flora (good bacteria in the intestine)
  • can relieve constipation

Insoluble Fibre

Examples: Bran, Corn Fibre
  • not changed by the gut flora.  Increases the ‘bulk’ of stool
  • can relieve constipation

Leave a Comment