By now, we all know fiber is part of a healthy diet. But for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), their relationship with fiber can be a little complicated. That’s because some fibers can ease IBS symptoms while others may worsen them. Because everyone’s microbiome is unique, knowing precisely how your body will respond to specific foods and types of fiber usually requires some trial and error.
The good news is that some soluble fibers such as Monash University Low-FODMAP Certified Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber can comfortably and consistently help people with IBS meet their daily fiber requirements.
IBS can present with a variety of symptoms
According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, which has designated April as IBS Awareness Month, IBS is an intestinal disorder characterized by a group of symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas and cramping. There are no tests for IBS so diagnosing the condition is usually done through a process of elimination.
Fiber, FODMAPS and fermentation
Research shows that reducing FODMAPs (an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) may help manage IBS symptoms. FODMAPs are foods that contain carbohydrates and sugars that are either difficult to digest (malabsorbed) or rapidly fermented. This results in bacterial fermentation in the large intestine, causing excess gas and bloating.
Going through a FODMAP screening program, or elimination phase, under the guidance of a healthcare professional, can help determine which FODMAPs may be triggering IBS symptoms. Everyone’s microbiome is unique. For some, it may be garlic and onions. For others, it may be wheat.
One pitfall of reducing FODMAPs in the diet is that you might also be reducing dietary fiber intake. Unfortunately, most traditional fiber supplements are high FODMAP, which can worsen digestive symptoms.
Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber was the first fiber certified Low FODMAP by Monash University. This means individuals can confidently consume Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber to meet their fiber needs without experiencing undesirable side effects of high FODMAP fibers. Eight studies specifically show Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber’s benefits related to IBS symptoms such as regularity, abdominal pain, gas and bloating.
Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber has been shown to help those with IBS-C (constipation) to have more frequent and comfortable bowel movements. And it’s helped those with IBS-D (diarrhea) to have fewer bowel movements with better formed stool. Sunfiber also has been shown to benefit children with chronic abdominal pain or IBS.
Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber is approved to use the Health Canada-approved health claims for IBS. Specifically, a seven-gram serving of Tomorrow’s Nutrition Sunfiber may help to:
- Improve bowel regularity in people with IBS.
- Relieve constipation and gastrointestinal discomfort in people with IBS.
- Reduce the frequency of bowel irregularity and abdominal discomfort in people with IBS, including flatulence, bloating, dyspepsia and altered bowel habits.
- Relieve bowel irregularity, bloating and other gastrointestinal symptoms in people in IBS.
One more smart strategy for managing IBS symptoms: Keep a food and symptom diary. If your gut is rumbling, FODMAPs may not be the only culprits. Stress, lack of sleep and hormonal changes can also do a number on your digestive system. So can skipping your daily workouts.