Irritable bowel syndrome and endometriosis: diagnosis, similarities, and nutritional management

Br J Nurs. 2023 Nov 23;32(21):S14-S20. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2023.32.21.S14.


Cordula Henggeler 1


Author information

1Women's Health Dietitian, London.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and endometriosis pose significant challenges to affected individuals. IBS, which is a functional gastrointestinal disorder, affects 5-10% of the population, while endometriosis affects 1 in 10 of those assigned female at birth. Despite distinct origins, symptom often overlap, which may lead to misdiagnosis. Diagnosing IBS and endometriosis requires a comprehensive approach. Nutritional management for IBS emphasises self-help strategies, nutritional changes and gut-brain axis modulation. The low FODMAP diet, which reduces the intake of foods containing specific types of carbohydrate, can be effective but requires the support of trained health professionals. For the management of endometriosis, a Mediterranean-style diet rich in antioxidants shows promise. Gastrointestinal symptoms are common with endometriosis and an individualised approach is recommended. Furthermore, vitamin D status assessment is advised. Collaboration between health professionals and dietitians is vital for tailored interventions, to enhance the wellbeing of individuals with IBS or endometriosis. A holistic approach holds promise in symptom management for both conditions.

© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.