Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 424–440 | Cite as

Dietary Renaissance in IBS: Has Food Replaced Medications as a Primary Treatment Strategy?

  • Marisa Spencer
  • William D. Chey
  • Shanti EswaranEmail author
Motility (T Lembo, Section Editor)

Opinion Statement

The medical community has only recently started to focus attention on the role of food in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), though the association between food and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms has been recognized by patients for decades. Health care providers receive little formal training in the dietary management of IBS and have traditionally viewed dietary interventions with skepticism. There is mounting evidence that links food to changes in motility, visceral sensation, microbiome, permeability, immune activation, and brain–gut interactions—all key elements in the pathogenesis of IBS. The role of specific dietary modification in the management of IBS has not been rigorously investigated until recently. There is now credible evidence suggesting that targeted dietary carbohydrate exclusion provides clinical benefits to IBS patients. There is emerging evidence to suggest that proteins such as gluten, as well as food chemicals, may play a role in IBS.


Irritable bowel syndrome Gluten Carbohydrates Diet, gluten-free Diet therapy Non-celiac wheat sensitivity Lactose intolerance Fructose intolerance Histamine 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Marisa Spencer and Shanti Eswaran declare that they have no conflict of interest.

William D. Chey has received consultancy fees from Astra-Zeneca, Forest, Ironwood, Perrigo, Prometheus, Nestle, Sucampo, Takeda, Furiex, SK, Ferring, and Entera. He also has received grants from Ironwood, Prometheus, Nestle, and Perrigo.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marisa Spencer
    • 1
  • William D. Chey
    • 1
  • Shanti Eswaran
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of Michigan Health SystemAnn ArborUSA

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