Posted by: Louise | 2009-06-09

IBS and fibre

Dear Doc
I have IBS and when I eat fibre eg fruits/vegs or wheat like Pronutro I bloat within minutes and get the most terrible gas and diarrhoea. I literally explode when going to the bathroom - sorry for being so graphic but I am trying to convey the severity of my situation. The problem is I work very very long hours in a workplace where the toilets are cubicles in a row and basically just screens - so there is really now privacy. The result is that I have to do my utmost to keep everything in until I get home at night and by that time I am suffering like a horse with colic. When I eat " foods"  without fibre like sweets or chocolate I am fine but then I tend to gain weight, and seeing that I am trying to eat healthy and lose weight this is a problem. Is there anything I can eat during daytime that will not cause these reactions and still contribute to a healthy eating plan and losing weight? Also the IBS makes it very painful for me to exercise so I would like to have some advice on how to exercise with the discomfort in my belly. Medication like Gastrochoice is too expensive to use on a regular basis and Librax only helps with the pain, not the diarrhoea and bloating. Any help will be appreciated. Kind regards, Louise

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Louise
I cannot imagine how you can control your diarrhoea and explosive stools the whole day. This of course makes your condition even worse. I would recommend that you consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area) to help you with a diet that will specifically address your problem as you have IBS-diarrhoea-variety and seem to react to fibre. It is also time that you stopped being so aware of what other people may think of you when you need to pass a stool. You can't go on suppressing your bowel functions if you have IBS just because someone may hear you in the cubicle next door. If you find that you are anxious about this perfectly normal bodily function, then please also see a clinical psychologist. Stress is an important factor in IBS (the Librax should help for this by the way) and you need some help to come to terms with your anxiety which will contribute to your IBS. I would recommend that you try using a probiotic such as Bifidoforte or Bifidoflora to try and normalise your colon metabolism.
But please go for professional help because no one should have to put up with the type of discomfort you describe.
Holding thumbs for you

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