Why is there so much conflicting information about diet?

One famous hospital site says eat apples for ibs d, another from, eg, bowel expert, don’t eat apples… just an example. What is a basic diet to start from when some sites say don’t eat rice or applesauce? It is so confusing.


Community Answers
  • Andrea Hardy RD moderator
    5 months ago

    Hello!

    This is a great question. There is a TON of conflicting information out there around nutrition management of IBS. What I think you’re referring to is the ‘BRAT diet’ – (bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast). This diet has been traditionally used for episodes of acute diarrhea – however there is no evidence to support that this diet is effective in managing diarrhea (though in theory it may help which is why it is suggested) and is nutritionally inadequate.

    It’s something that should not be recommended for IBS-D – as IBS is a chronic condition, and needs a long term management strategy.

    In regards to where to start, the best dietary evidence in IBS management is with the low FODMAP diet – showing ~75% of those with IBS respond to the low FODMAP diet. However, all the evidence that exists showing this is with dietitian support/counselling.

    There is more to managing IBS than just diet, so working with a team can help to ensure that advice is tailored to your symptoms, that medication and stress management have been addressed, and that no other differential diagnoses have been missed is often key to getting patients feeling as good as they possibly can.

    We touch on what I call the 4 pillars of gut health/IBS management here: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/four-pillars-of-gut-health/

    I hope this helps!

    -Andrea Hardy, RD – IBS.net team member

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