Flaxseed & IBS

Hi, I think looking back I suffered with undiagnosed IBS as a teenager but grew out of it if that's possible. After a horrible attack back in November and having a scan (I was convinced it was an ovarian cyst) was diagnosed with IBS! I was advised to take Flaxseed every day, but have just read on another site that IBS sufferers should avoid it? I have just had my worst attack ever:( I think it was stress related and eating ready made pancakes. Please help.

4 Replies

  • I've had the same problem. Some sites and dieticians say that you can eat flaxseeds and linseeds (the same thing) if you have IBS, others say they make things worse. My dietician explained that they are a good source of food for a group of gut bacteria that don't produce carbon dioxide (and also produce chemicals that are good for the gut), so if you can increase their numbers they can better compete with the bacteria that may cause some of the symptoms of IBS. As with all things diet-related, though, taking them might not lead to changes immediately. It has taken me a long time to adjust my diet to something that is reasonably predictable and this involved having linseeds with my breakfast on weekdays but not on weekends. If you are concerned about your IBS, speak to a dietician. One of the most effective therapies these days is the low FODMAP diet and a trained dietician (not all dieticians have this training) can make sure you definitely know what you can and can't eat and help identify other common foods in your diet that may make things worse.

  • Sorry to hear you're having a rough go lately!

    Haven't heard anything about flaxseed one way or the other, but certainly watch out for anything 'ready made' - be it baking, sauces, stocks, etc. Also some brands of food or ready made products may be okay for you but others aren't, just to complicate things.

    And you're absolutely right. Stress can certainly cause or exacerbate flare-ups. IBS is certainly both mental and physical, you have to take care of both sides.

  • Thank you runswithdogs:)

    I also run with my dog if that's what you're name means.

    I had another bad flare up yesterday, I am having a horrible stressful time with family atm.

    I'm hoping to try yoga this week, I hold a lot in and rarely express anger or frustration only good ole happy Sue.... seriously going to do a food diary now.

  • Yes - I joined the couch to 5k forum before the IBS one. Good thing or I'd have a very different name for the forum if it was the other way around. I found yoga pretty good - they really focus on breathing which you can focus on during the pain or urgency. I think some of the stretches are good for the guts as well.

    Maybe a trip to a councilor would help you let your stress out as well. Sometimes it's nice to have that independent person to talk to. Or a coffee with a close friend that will let you vent.

    A good fast run can help reduce my stress as well.

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