Woman suffering from IBS clutching her tummyQ: My GP has told me I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and suggested that I try to alter my diet. He didn’t give me any specific advice apart from having more fibre. I wonder what else to try. I am 45 and otherwise in good health and am determined to beat IBS.

Lynette, Tamworth

A: With IBS it is very important to reduce your intake of insoluble fibre, such as bran, and to increase the amount of soluble fibre, which includes oats, barley, apples and the component of Fybogel (the fibre sachets that you mix with water.)

You should also increase the amount of water you drink, but try to cut back on caffeinated drinks. Peppermint tea can be a helpful alternative.

Do not miss meals or leave long gaps in-between eating. Try probiotics in yogurt or drinks. Fruit is good but only have three portions a day – add vegetable portions to achieve your five a day.

Exercise has also been shown to be beneficial, so build this in to your daily routine.

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