Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects your large intestine. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and even cramping. IBS can affect your quality of life, and symptoms can be exasperated by stress, illness and eating styles. Here are our two top tips to beat the discomfort and manage your symptoms:

1. Find your trigger

Keep a record to track or log your food intake and symptoms. This will help you to pinpoint which foods are the real culprits. Once you have identified the offending foods, remove them from your diet for a few weeks and then slowly introduce them back to assess your tolerance levels. Bear in mind that the concern with cutting foods from your diet in a random fashion is that you risk having an unbalanced diet, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies (especially fibre), which can eventually worsen your symptoms.

2. Consider a low FODMAP diet

The term FODMAP is an acronym for "Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols". They are a group of carbohydrates that are not well digested by some people, which can worsen IBS symptoms. The low FODMAP diet should always be controlled by a registered dietitian to ensure that you get adequate nutrition despite the many food restrictions on this diet.

Long-term restriction of FODMAPs is not recommended. Reintroduction of single foods is recommended after six to eight weeks to assess individual tolerance. This is to promote variety and reduce the risk of nutrient inadequacies.

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