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Using dietary treatment, over 70 percent of patients reduced IBS symptoms: Study

IANS Apr 22, 2024

In a new study a group of researchers found that dietary treatment is more effective than medications in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and by doing so, more than seven out of 10 (70 per cent) patients had significantly reduced symptoms.

In the study, published in the journal The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, the researchers compared three treatments -- two dietary and one based on the use of medications.

IBS is a common diagnosis that causes abdominal pain, gas & abdominal bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation, in various combinations and with varying degrees of severity.

According to Sanna Nybacka, researcher and dietician at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, with this study, "we can show that diet plays a central role in the treatment of IBS", however, she noted that there are several alternative treatments that are useful.

The first group was advised to follow a traditional IBS dietary advice, which focused on eating behaviour combined with low intake of fermentable carbohydrates called FODMAPs.

For example, FODMAPs include products with legumes, onions, lactose and grains, which ferment in the colon and can cause pain in IBS.

The second group was given a dietary treatment low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fat. The third group received medication based on their most troublesome IBS symptoms.

About 76 per cent of those who received traditional IBS dietary advice and low FODMAP content had significantly reduced symptoms.

The proportion was 71 per cent in the group receiving a low-carbohydrate and high-protein and fat diet, and 58 per cent in the medication group.

As per the study, all groups reported significantly better quality of life, less physical complaints, and fewer signs of anxiety and depression.

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