Does anyone else find that the low FODMAP diet is more successful for IBS-D than IBS-C?

Thanks to all the info given by you lovely people on this website and, desperate to try anything to help my IBS-D, I started the low FODMAP diet 5 months ago and have found that it solves all my problems. Sheer joy and magic! I can now even eat small amounts of high FODMAP foods on a fairly frequent basis.

However, I have one relative and one friend who both have IBS-C and neither of them have had any success with this diet, in fact, they both seem to think it makes their condition worse. Has anyone else found this, and could it be because the diet is low -fibre?

26 Replies

  • I found the low fodmap diet did not help with my IBS-D symptoms.

  • So sorry that this doesn't work for you, I hope you find something that does.

  • Hi paganmoon, I too had IBS-D and have had amazing results with the fodmaps diet. I have not seen any evidence either way about one responding better than the other, but anecdotal suggestion from various posts here and elsewhere would suggest IBS-C doesn't seem to respond as well. I seem to remember reading somewhere that there are different gases produced in the 2 conditions, one is more methane and one more hydrogen (?) - so I guess it would not be expected that they would both respond in the same way. That's a real shame if it is so,as it is very effective when it does work.

  • Great to hear you've also done well on this diet.

    I've been reading through old posts about C & D and it seems thattthere's a real difference in some of the symptoms too, so you're reply is very interesting and I'll pass the info on.

  • Hi I've been on this diet for two weeks now and I'm more bloated and in pain than ever. I've switched to lactose free milk too. However before seeing the dietician my consultant advised me to not eat anything containing yeast which did help. Because I've been eating gluten free bread on this diet I am now thinking its best to cut that out too as the yeast in the bread must be causing some of the problems.

    I have never heard of C or D what is the difference ? As I seems to have bouts of both continuously

  • I think a lot of people have alternating D and C which must be really hard to manage as diet suitable for one type must aggravate the other.

    If you're responding well to leaving yeast out of your diet, it might be worth having a candida test as yeast is one of the things you can't eat with that condition.

  • i have ibs-c and the pain I found was caused by one or two of the groups within FODMAPS. But not all. So yes, it helps me stay pain free to the extent that the pain is caused by the irritant food group. Does not necessarily help with the C ! :) But I'm not in a position to compare.

  • Thanks for the info. Would you mind letting me know which 2 groups upset you?

  • the one with broccoli (fructans) and excess fructose group. Legumes give me gas but it passes :P Also any food with calcium carbonate or soy protein give me pain , but not tofu or miso.

  • Thanks very much for this info which I will pass on.

  • IBS-D is thought to be caused by an overgrowth of gut bacteria, and the FODMAPs diet is designed to starve out those gut bacteria.

    It makes sense to me that this approach is less likely to work in someone with IBS-C, which could involve a lack of beneficial gut bacteria, and might even make things worse.

    I have C and my two very specific triggers are wheat/gluten and yeast... I believe they are food sensitivities involving an immune reaction. Some of my blood work points to inflammation when I eat wheat/yeast (bread in other words!). That inflammation leads to bloating and C...

    Although they have almost the same name, I think that IBS-C and IBS-D are two quite different problems.

  • Thank you for your reply.

    I too used to be affected by yeast, but having had a positive test result for candida, and doing the diet to clear the condition for 4 - 5 months, I disposed of a lot of my symptoms (FODMAPs got rid of the rest) and now I'm okay with yeast.

    I think you're absolutely right about D and C being completely different conditions, the more I read, the more convinced I'm becoming about that. I wonder how long we'll have to wait before it dawns on the NHS too!

  • I was gluten free and yeast free for about 15 months before adding yeast back in... just on an occasional basis, and then had to do a gluten challenge, which involved bread every day for about 2 weeks... my gluten/yeast problem has not gone, but is worse than before... (I tested GF bread and reacted to that too).

    That's why I think it's a food sensitivity involving the immune system rather than an overgrowth. Food sensitivities can get worse after you remove the offending food, because the immune system gets downregulated from constant stimulation, but goes back to normal after it's had a rest and that means a stronger reaction.

    Maybe in time, the reaction will lessen, but I have a feeling that will be years rather than months.

  • You could well be right about the immune system playing a big role in all types of IBS. From what I read on this site though, it seems that those of us with type D stand more chance of a diet working than those, like you, with type C.

  • someone pointed out to me it might be the fructans in bread grains, not just the gluten. that was an eye opener to me. have you googled FODMAPS?

  • Thanks pagenmoon, I see my consultant later this month so will ask about candida test as well finding out whether I have C or D or a combination. The last ten/12 years they have treated me for chrones, colitis, diverticulosis and now ibs. Wish they would make up their minds lol! Am so fed up with endless hospital admissions, tests and all the medication they put me on was hoping this diet would solve it all

  • I really do wish you well with this, but unless things have changed, the medical profession doesn't believe in candida and you have to get a lab to do it privately - costs about £60.

  • My consultant seems to do the maddest tests that noone has heard of so will keep fingers crosses she will do this one. Will let you on the 21st.

    Thank you for your advice .

  • Interestingly this diet has eased the IBS D but doesnt help with the IBS C at all, I take flaxseeds and drink lots otherwise I can't go and am in agony :( generally my IBS hasnt improved vastly on the diet but ive seen some positives so stick with it. Im going to have my coil removed as wonder if the hormones make things worse for me, I cant take the pill as have lots more IBS symptoms on it so think there may be a strong link between hormones and symptoms for me.

  • I've passed on the info about flaxseeds info as neither of the people I mention in my original question had tried those.

    I read a post on here recently where someone else thought that she had a link between her IBS and hormones. An interesting thought, thanks for replying.

  • ive never heard of this diet what is it please

  • The low FODMAP diet has been a revelation to me and, thanks to it, I can now lead a proper life again - even if my menu is a bit limited - anything's better than IBS!

    The best thing to do if you want to give it a go is to ask your GP for a referral to a dietitian, but if you want to start it straightaway, you can find the best information at: where the diet was created. If you have an iPhone there’s also an app you can download from there.

    An American dietitian called Patsy Catsos has written a very good book about FODMAPs called 'IBS - Free At Last' which contains all the info you need to get going.

    It works for a lot of people on this site and also for others I know personally. It's well worth a go and results can be quite quick.

  • thank you

  • I've been very interested to hear comments on the differing experiences of people with IBS C and IBS D. Since joining this forum I have noticed that most contributors are D, and I can't relate to their symptoms.(I'm C.)

    Like two others I too tried low FODMAPS - for just three weeks - and found no improvement. However after four weeks on Symprove I believe there is discernible change for the better.

  • P.S. It occurred to me a long time ago that these types of 'IBS' could most likely be three entirely different illnesses, all lumped together, for the sake of convenience, under the general term of 'syndrome' .

  • Yes, it does seem that there are more Ds than Cs about, although there are also quite a few people who have both sets of symptoms.

    I'm glad you're finding some relief from Symprove. I took it for several months and found it had no effects, for good or ill, so could be that this is a better C remedy than a D. Who knows? I also tried VSL#3 which is the other highly recommended probiotic, but again it did nothing for me except to lighten my bank balance.

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