Difficult to Digest Carbohydrates Implicated in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition marked by abdominal pain, bloating, and alternating constipation and diarrhea. There is no specific test for IBS and other more serious diseases like celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease can cause similar symptoms. The good news is that when a doctor has ruled out these more serious diseases and diagnosed IBS the patient can be assured that her illness is chronic but not progressive or life-threatening. The bad news is that IBS symptoms can be quite miserable, and at their worst can interfere with work and life activities.

Myriad treatments are used for IBS, and as with any disease with myriad treatments, that means that none of them are consistently effective. I wrote five years ago about a “>This Wall Street Journal article has a handy table with a list of foods high in FODMAPs and low in FODMAPs.) So eliminating them entirely requires some drastic dietary changes. Nevertheless, the Australian researches published ” target=”_blank”>When Everyday Foods Are Hard to Digest (Wall Street Journal)
” target=”_blank”> Irritable Bowel Syndrome (National Library of Medicine information page)
” target=”_blank”> Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, abstract available without subscription)

Tangential Miscellany

If you appreciate the right to speak as you wish without fear of censorship or punishment, the right to wave a sign declaring your displeasure with how much income the top 1% earn, the right to occupy public places and protest Wall Street and be generally tolerated, if you value these rights, then thank a veteran. Happy Veterans Day.

Important legal mumbo jumbo:
Anything you read on the web should be used to supplement, not replace, your doctor’s advice.  Anything that I write is no exception.  I’m a doctor, but I’m not your doctor.