S1E107: What to eat or not eat if you have IBS

  • 7 Jun 2023

Find out too, why the link between the gut and brain must not be ignored.

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that causes recurrent episodes of diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, or abdominal pain. Stress can trigger or worsen it, which is why the link between the gut and brain or what is known as the gut-brain axis must not be ignored in the treatment of complex cases, said Dr Andrew Ong, a consultant gastroenterologist at the Singapore General Hospital, who runs a weekly IBS clinic at the hospital for hard-to-treat IBS cases. 

Still, when it comes to IBS, the first question that he gets from patients often concerns food. In part two of a two-parter on IBS, Dr Ong chats with ST's senior health correspondent Joyce Teo about diet and IBS. 

You will also hear about FODMAP, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. They are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that are not properly absorbed in the gut. Some people with gastrointestinal issues have used a low FODMAP diet to identify the types of food that trigger their symptoms.

Highlights (click/tap above):

3:59 Type of foods that can cause problems for those with IBS

13:31 Are mushrooms a good choice for those with IBS?

18:35 The difference between food intolerance and food allergy

20:44 Tips on keeping the gut healthy

Listen to Pt 1: Can stress trigger IBS? - https://str.sg/i3YP

Produced by: Joyce Teo (joyceteo@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis and Eden Soh

Edited by: Eden Soh

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