In May 2019 researchers from Japan published their review on how specific foods can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS as it frequently called, have abdominal pain and discomfort with associated abnormal bowel movements which chronically persists and recurs. These symptoms are known to be related to lifestyle habits, such as meals and stress, and in recent years specific foods have been shown to alter these symptoms. Several studies have suggested that individuals who have a preference for fatty food, fast food, junk snack food, fried food and hot/spicyfood appear to have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms, whereas those who are knowledgeable about the importance of nutritional balance or healthy food have a lower incidence. Many individuals find that eating foods that are high in dietary fibre and low in FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharaides, and polyols) obtain relief from some of the gastrointestinal symptoms. However, the ingestion of certain carbohydrates can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, with foods rich in FODMAP being shown to cause abdominal pain and abdominal discomfort in westerners with IBS.
Okawa Y et al. Specific foods can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and functional constipation: a review. Biopsychosoc Med. 2019 May 8;13:10.