Wednesday 24th January 2018,
Continental  Hospitals Blog

Fibre: Your Savior against Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Colon Cancer and Diverticulosis

IBS is one of the most common disorders of the lower digestive tract that results in altered bowel habits – bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS attack is often triggered by poor dietary habits, certain medications, anxiety and emotional tension. Never ignore constipation because, if left untreated, it may lead to diverticulosis of the colon. But, don’t worry,

Whatever may be the reasons for your IBS, fibre is your savior – let us find out how!

Benefits of Fibre

Do you know: Fibre in diet may help reduce Colon Polyps and colon Cancer?

Colon cancer can be prevented provided you should monitor your diet. According to several research studies unprocessed grains are vital in preventing colon cancers – the reason: fibre in high concentrations in the diet makes the stool bulky, smooth and helps in removing carcinogens from the walls of the colon quickly. Less carcinogenic exposure to the colon may mean fewer colon polyps and hence less chances of cancer.

Fibre in diet may help reduce Colon Cancer

Fibre and Diverticulitis: is there any link?

Diverticulosis is a condition in which prolonged, vigorous contractions of the colon in the left lower side causes increased pressure that eventually results in the formation of ballooning pockets. These pockets don’t cause any problem, but may become break open or infected causing infection or inflammation. A high-fibre diet may increase the bulk in the stool and thereby reduce the pressure within the colon. By doing so, the formation of pockets is reduced or possibly even stopped.

Is dietary fibre supplement helpful?

If you can’t tolerate enough fibre in your diet, then stool softening and bulking agents are available. These agents absorb water and add bulk to the stools Therefore; they are useful in preventing and treating digestive tract disorders. These contain psyllium mucilloid and come from the seed of the psyllium plant. Citrucel (hemicellulose) and FibreCon (polycarboxisal) are other bulking agents that can also be used.

What are the food sources of dietary fibre?

The foods that are rich in dietary fibre are the following:

  • Cereals, whole bread and Oat bran
  • Fresh fruits
  • Dried or stewed fruits (prunes, raisins or apricots)
  • Fresh vegetable

What additional measures will you take to prevent IBS?

Try to adopt the following rules:

Drink plenty of liquids, eat bran cereals in the morning (oat bran, raisin bran, and oatmeal are some of the high-fibre cereals. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly – this will help the food to break easily in the mouth and stomach with saliva and digestive juices, respectively. It may also help prevent problems from developing in the lower digestive tract.

Eat your meals at regular intervals. Eat fruits on a regular basis; in fact, making fruit a part of daily meal prevents lots of digestive issues. Fruit juices on the other side do not help in these digestive issues because fruit when eaten wholesome only adds fibre to the diet.

Increased amounts of fibre in the diet can help relieve the symptoms of IBS by producing soft, bulky stools and thus prevents you from diverticulosis and colon cancers. This helps to normalize the time it takes for the stool to pass through the colon. Liquids help to soften the stool – the end result no constipation, no abdominal pain and eventually no IBS.


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About The Author

Dr. Sreekanth Appasani is a Consultant Medical Gastroenterologist with more than 8 years of experience. He has enormous expertise in interventional gastroenterology. He has special interest and expertise in Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in the management of Gastrointestinal Cancers and Pancreatic Diseases.

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