Dietary intakes in people with irritable bowel syndrome
Background: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterised by episodes of abdominal pain associated with altered bowel habits. Many IBS sufferers believe that diet may play a role in triggering these episodes and may avoid certain foods. However relatively few studies have undertaken a dietary assessment in IBS sufferers to examine the wider impact of the condition upon diet. Methods: 104 individuals with IBS were recruited and asked to complete a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The data were analysed against Dietary Reference Values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom and observed intakes for the general population and for differences between IBS subtypes and the UK population. Results: The data show that the dietary intakes of this population of IBS sufferers met the UK Dietary Reference Values. The average energy intake of the population exceeded the Estimated Average Requirements of the UK population and the balance of macronutrients was favourable. Intakes of selected micronutrients significantly exceeded the reference nutrient intakes. There were no differences between IBS subtypes. Conclusions: The IBS subpopulation appear to have an adequate and balanced macronutrient intake with no evidence of inadequate micronutrient intake.