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  • Writer's pictureUVSU Nutrition

The Role of Nutrition and Exercise in Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Are you one of the millions of people dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)? If so, you know how frustrating and uncomfortable it can be. While there's no cure for IBS, there are ways to manage symptoms and improve your overall digestive health. One key strategy? Good nutrition and exercise.

Nutrition and IBS

A healthy diet can help manage the symptoms of IBS and improve overall digestive health. Some dietary strategies that may be helpful for people with IBS include:

Trying a Low-FODMAP & Increasing Fibre Intake Diet:

FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-Di-Mono-saccharides and Polyols) are types of carbohydrates that can be difficult for some people with IBS to digest. A low-FODMAP diet, which eliminates high-FODMAP foods, can help reduce IBS symptoms.

When it comes to nutrition, increasing your fibre intake can help reduce constipation - a common symptom of IBS. If you're prone to trigger foods, keeping a food diary and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and certain types of carbohydrates can make a big difference. You might also want to try a low-FODMAP diet, which eliminates hard-to-digest carbohydrates that can worsen IBS symptoms.

The low-FODMAP diet is a temporary elimination diet that is often used to help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It involves avoiding foods that are high in certain types of carbohydrates called FODMAPs, which can be difficult to digest for some people.

An Example of a Low-FODMAP Meal Plan for One Day:


  • Oatmeal made with lactose-free milk, topped with sliced banana and a handful of blueberries

  • A cup of black coffee or tea


  • A small handful of unsalted almonds


  • Grilled chicken breast with a side of roasted carrots and zucchini

  • Brown rice

  • A small mixed greens salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing


  • One medium-sized orange


  • Grilled salmon with a side of steamed green beans and mashed potatoes made with lactose-free milk and butter

  • A glass of low-FODMAP red wine (optional)


  • Rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced strawberries

Limiting Trigger Foods:

Some people with IBS find that certain foods trigger their symptoms. Common triggers include caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and certain types of carbohydrates. Keeping a food diary and identifying personal trigger foods can help manage IBS.

Exercise and IBS:

That's not all! Exercise can also be a powerful tool for managing IBS. Not only does it reduce stress - a common trigger for IBS symptoms - but it can also improve bowel function. The key is finding a routine that works for you and listening to your body. If certain types of exercise aggravate your symptoms, it's best to steer clear.

Managing IBS can be a challenge, but with the right nutrition and exercise strategies, you can take control of your symptoms and improve your quality of life. So why not give it a try? Focus on a healthy diet, stay active, and enjoy a happier, healthier gut! It's important to note that the low-FODMAP diet should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional or registered dietitian, as it can be difficult to follow and may result in nutrient deficiencies if not done properly. Additionally, the diet should only be followed for a short period before slowly reintroducing FODMAPs to identify which ones trigger symptoms.

Our team members are always available to assist you with any questions or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and assistance. Additionally, to learn more about our services, we invite you to visit our website and discover what we offer.


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