Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in outpatients with inflammatory bowel disease using a food and beverage intolerance, food and beverage avoidance diet

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2007 Jan;13(1):91-6. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20048.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the outpatient with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a difficult but important challenge to recognize and treat. It is very helpful to have effective treatment approaches for IBS that are practical and use minimal medications. Because of the underlying chronic inflammation in IBD, IBS symptoms occur with increased frequency and severity, secondary to increased hypersensitivity to foods and beverages that stimulate the gastrointestinal tract. This paper discusses how to treat IBS in the IBD outpatient, with emphasis on using a food and beverage intolerance, avoidance diet. The adverse effects of many foods and beverages are amount dependent and can be delayed, additive, and cumulative. The specific types of foods and beverages that can induce IBS symptoms include milk and milk containing products; caffeine containing products; alcoholic beverages; fruits; fruit juices; spices; seasonings; diet beverages; diet foods; diet candies; diet gum; fast foods; condiments; fried foods; fatty foods; multigrain breads; sourdough breads; bagels; salads; salad dressings; vegetables; beans; red meats; gravies; spaghetti sauce; stews; nuts; popcorn; high fiber; and cookies, crackers, pretzels, cakes, and pies. The types of foods and beverages that are better tolerated include water; rice; plain pasta or noodles; baked or broiled potatoes; white breads; plain fish, chicken, turkey, or ham; eggs; dry cereals; soy or rice based products; peas; applesauce; cantaloupe; watermelon; fruit cocktail; margarine; jams; jellies; and peanut butter. Handouts that were developed based upon what worsens or helps IBS symptoms in patients are included to help patients learn which foods and beverages to avoid and which are better tolerated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Food / adverse effects
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diet therapy*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / complications*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diet therapy*