Irritable bowel syndrome is defined as an abnormal stooling pattern associated with symptoms in intestinal dysfunction that persists for longer than 3 months.
The symptoms usually vary between spastic constipation and “nervous” diarrhea. The cause is unknown, but dietary intolerance is listed among the possibilities. Attacks are often associated with emotional upsets or a prolonged period of stress.
Dietary strategy is to provide optimal nutrition and regular bowel motility, which means eating a variety of foods from the Food Guide Pyramid and gradually increasing dietary fiber to 20-30 grams per day.
When fiber is increased in the diet it is also necessary to make sure to get 8-10 8 oz. glasses of water per day.