Addressing the Role of Food in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptom Management

J Nurse Pract. 2016 May;12(5):324-329. doi: 10.1016/j.nurpra.2015.12.007.


Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have often associated the worsening of symptoms with specific foods. Research is starting to catch up with what patients have reported about food interaction and their symptoms and the role of diet is being increasingly recognized for the management of IBS. Clinical guidance for nurse practitioners can be challenging due to limited data and guideline consensus along with the nuances of symptoms associated with IBS subtypes. This article summarizes some of the key themes and dietary recommendations by various gastrointestinal (GI) organizations, public health agencies, and dietary associations. By addressing the relevance of diet for symptom alleviation, nurse practitioners are able to better support patients and collaborate with dietitians to improve symptom management.

Keywords: diet; food; gastrointestinal; irritable bowel syndrome; symptom management.