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Can I Control Irritable Bowel Syndrome With My Diet Alone?

Many of the up to 45 million people living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) link their symptoms to eating, and evidence supports using diet to control symptoms. Dietary choices like low-FODMAP foods can significantly improve symptoms.

It’s wise to work with a skilled provider to get your symptoms under control so you feel better. Samuel I. Fink, MD, FACP, is devoted to excellence in internal medicine. Serving patients in the Tarzana, California area, Dr. Fink helps patients with IBS find the right approach to effectively managing their symptoms.

The role of diet in managing IBS

The connection between diet and IBS symptoms is well-established. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, certain foods may cause:

Common culprits include high-FODMAP foods: dairy, gluten, and caffeine. FODMAPs — fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols — are types of carbohydrates that are particularly resistant to digestion. Foods like legumes and wheat are especially rich in FODMAPs, which tend to cause symptoms in people with IBS.

While dietary triggers for IBS are highly individual, sticking to a low-FODMAP diet has shown consistent benefits in significantly relieving symptoms in many people with IBS. 

Personalized diet plans

When it comes to IBS, what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. Dr. Fink can recommend an individualized meal plan designed to help relieve your IBS symptoms. 

Dr. Fink possesses the expertise to guide you through an elimination diet, which involves removing potential trigger foods from your diet and then reintroducing them to identify which ones cause symptoms.

Elimination diets are most effective when conducted under the guidance of a skilled medical professional. This is crucial because long-term restrictions without proper guidance can lead to nutritional deficiencies. 

Dr. Fink works with you to create a comprehensive and sustainable eating plan that aligns with your lifestyle and helps in managing IBS symptoms effectively. 

Considering other factors that contribute to IBS

While diet is a factor in controlling IBS, it's not the only one. Stress, for example, is a well known trigger for IBS symptoms. Lifestyle changes, hormonal fluctuations, and other health conditions can also influence IBS symptoms. 

A comprehensive approach that includes stress management, regular exercise, and, in some cases, medication can be most effective in managing IBS symptoms. This ensures that all potential contributing factors are addressed.

The importance of medical guidance in managing IBS

Working closely with a health care professional is essential in finding an effective solution for managing IBS. Doing so not only ensures that your diet is appropriate, but also provides the opportunity to rule out other medical conditions that might mimic IBS symptoms. 

If you’re struggling with IBS symptoms, schedule an appointment today. Dr. Fink provides the best internal medicine in Tarzana, California, and he can help you get on the winning side of the IBS battle.

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