Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the intestines.\nCommon IBS symptoms include:\n\nCramping\nStomach pain\nGas\nBloating\nChanges in bowel habits\n\nSome people with IBS have constipation (infrequent bowel movements). Others have diarrhea (frequent, loose stools). Some people have both.\nEating more or less fiber can help control these problems.\nTips to Increase Fiber in Your Diet and Help Constipation\nIf you have constipation, a high-fiber diet can help. Foods high in soluble fibers \u2014 like oats, peas, and beans \u2014 can help ease both constipation and diarrhea.\nAdd fiber a little at a time\n\nTry to eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day. Use food labels to tell how many grams of fiber are in foods you eat.\nAdd more fiber to your diet a little at a time. Adding too much fiber too quickly may trigger other IBS symptoms. Be sure to increase your fluid intake at the same time.\nPut more fiber in meat dishes by adding beans, bran, or oatmeal.\nAsk your doctor if a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with 100 percent of the U.S. recommended daily fiber intake (RDI) may be helpful.\n\nRELATED:\u00a0Understanding Indigestion: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment\nWatch for foods that cause your IBS symptoms\n\nPay attention to when your symptoms occur. If you can relate these times with certain foods, avoid those foods.\nKeep a food diary.\nTo help reduce gas, try an over-the counter pill like Beano\u00ae.\n\nDrink plenty of fluids and eat slowly\n\nDrink at least 8 cups of fluid per day. Water is best, but fruit juice and decaf drinks also are fine.\nEat more slowly. Take the time to enjoy your food.\nEat smaller, more frequent meals. For instance, eat 4 or 5 small meals instead of 3 large meals.\n\nHigh-Fiber Foods to Relieve Constipation\nChoose more fresh fruits and vegetables\n\n\n\nHigh-fiber fruits and vegetables to choose\n\n\n\n\nApples\nBananas\nBlueberries\nBroccoli\nBrussels sprouts\nCantaloupe\nCarrots\nFigs\nOranges\nPeaches\n\n\n\n\nPears\nPotatoes\nPrunes\nRaisins\nSpinach\nStrawberries\nSweet potatoes\nTomatoes\nZucchini\n\n\n\n\n\nChoose more whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals\nLook for:\n\nBreads and cereals that list whole-grain or whole-wheat first on the food label.\nCooked and ready-to-eat cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.\n\n\n\n\nHigh-fiber foods to choose\n\n\n\n\nAll-Bran\u00ae\nBarley\nBran Flakes\nBrown rice\nGranola\n\n\n\n\nOat bran\nOatmeal\nPumpernickel bread\nRaisin Bran\u00ae\n\n\n\n\n\nChoose more dried beans, peas, nuts, and seeds (as tolerated)\n\n\n\nHigh-fiber foods to choose\n\n\n\n\nBaked beans\nLentils\nPeanuts\nSoy products, such as tofu and TVP (textured vegetable protein)\n\n\n\n\nSplit peas\nSunflower seeds\nWalnuts\n\n\n\n\n\nChoose more snacks that are high in fiber\n\n\n\nHigh-fiber snacks to choose\n\n\n\n\nCereal mixed with nuts and seeds\nFresh fruit\nFresh vegetables\n\n\n\n\nPopcorn\nWhole-grain cereal\nYogurt with bran cereal\n\n\n\n\n\nPlan more vegetarian meals\n\n\n\nHigh-fiber foods to choose\n\n\n\n\nBean and rice burritos\nBeans and rice\nHummus and pita bread\n\n\n\n\nPasta with vegetables\nSplit pea or lentil soup\nVegetable stir fry\n\n\n\n\n\nTips to Control Diarrhea with a Low-Fiber Diet\nDuring a flare-up of IBS, a low-fiber diet can help control diarrhea.\nThis means more cooked foods, fewer raw fruits and vegetables, and fewer bran-based grains, cereals, and breads.\nSometimes changing the number of meals you eat, choosing different foods, and adjusting food temperature can help relieve diarrhea.\nLimit fat and dairy in your diet\n\nAdd less fat to foods.\nSelect baked foods instead of fried foods.\nChoose low-fat versions of foods and dairy products, such as cottage cheese and yogurt.\nYou may want to limit dairy products or use a lactase product.\nIf you’re limiting dairy, ask your doctor if you should take a calcium supplement.\n\nEat smaller portions and drink more liquids\n\nEat smaller portions.\nDon’t skip meals.\nAvoid very hot meals and caffeine. They tend to cause diarrhea.\nAvoid foods that cause gas.\nTry to rest after meals. This can help slow the rate at which food passes through the intestines.\nDrink plenty of liquids between meals.\nTry drinking liquids at room temperature. Best choices are water, broth, non-acidic juices, nectars, and sport drinks.\n\nNot all of these tips may work for everyone. If there’s something you haven’t tried, test it to see if it helps your diarrhea and other IBS symptoms.\nRELATED:\u00a0Diarrhea Causes, Treatment, and Symptoms\nLow-Fiber Foods to Choose and Avoid\nChoose foods known to bind and help control diarrhea\n\n\n\n\n\nApplesauce\nBarley\nCarrots\nGrated apples\n\n\n\n\nGreen beans\nOats\/oat bran\nPectin\nWhipped potatoes (no skin)\n\n\n\n\n\nTry other foods and products that may relieve diarrhea\n\n\n\n\n\nAvocados\nBoiled white rice\nCrackers\nCream of rice\nMetamucil\u00ae\nNectars\n\n\n\n\nPears\nSmooth peanut butter\nTapioca\nTea (weakly brewed)\nToast\nYogurt with live cultures\n\n\n\n\n\nChoose foods high in potassium\nDiarrhea may rob the body of electrolytes (sodium and potassium), so make sure that you eat foods high in potassium such as:\n\n\n\n\n\nAvocados\nBananas (if tolerated)\nFish\n\n\n\n\nNectarines\nNectars (apricot or peach)\nPotatoes (boiled or mashed)\n\n\n\n\n\nAvoid foods and drinks that may cause diarrhea\nCertain foods produce loose stools. You should avoid these if your IBS causes diarrhea.\n\n\n\n\n\nBacon\nBaked beans\nBeer\nBroccoli\nCauliflower\nChocolate\nCoffee, in large quantities\nCorn\nDried beans\nFatty foods\nFructose\nGarlic\nHighly spiced foods\nHot beverages\nLarge meals\nLicorice\n\n\n\n\nMayonnaise\nMSG\nNutraSweet\u00ae\nNuts\nProcessed meats\nPrune juice\nRaw fruits\nRaw vegetables\nRed wine\nShellfish\nSorbitol\/mannitol\nSoups\nSpinach\nSugar\nWhole grains\n\n\n\n\n\nNeed More Help Controlling Your IBS Symptoms?\nCheck out our blog post on the Low FODMAP diet for IBS patients.\nAt the UPMC Digestive Disorders Center, we can help you manage constipation, diarrhea, and other IBS symptoms.