Dietary Modification for the Restoration of Gut Microbiome and Management of Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Am J Lifestyle Med. 2021 May 10;16(5):608-621. doi: 10.1177/15598276211012968.eCollection 2022 Sep-Oct.


Andrew Thomas 1Annie Thomas 2Madeline Butler-Sanchez 3


Author information

1Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune, India, and University of Illinois Health Sciences System, Chicago, Illinois.

2Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois.

3Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder leading to chronic debilitating issues. A healthy diet plays an integral role in maintaining the gut microbiota equilibrium, thus promoting digestive health. The structure and function of gut microbiota are affected by genetics and environmental factors, such as altered dietary habits, gastroenteritis, stress, increased use of alcohol and drugs, and medication use. Whereas there are various management approaches cited in the literature to manage symptoms of IBS, the purpose of this article is to focus on dietary options that will restore the gut microbiome and help in managing IBS symptoms. Some of the diets that are discussed in this article include a low-FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) diet, gluten-free/wheat-free diet, high-fiber diet, dietary and herbal supplements (psyllium, peppermint oil), and probiotics/prebiotics/synbiotics. The clinical practice guidelines recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology outlines evidence-based dietary recommendations for patients with IBS to manage symptoms. Recent advancements in the dietary management of IBS highlighting the use of a patient-centered, personalized nutrition approach along with lifestyle changes, pharmacological therapies, and psychosocial and behavioral interventions are also reviewed and discussed.

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