Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Meals before bed


Do you know if any studies have been done on the timing of meals and the relationship to I.B.S.?
I now work an evening shift. I eat a large meal, basicly my supper, before bed. It actually helps me sleep better.
I have been told that if its not burned off it will just turn to fat?
I am not hungry for breakfast the next day instead will have a late 'brunch', a healthy mid evening snack, and then my main meal of the day again before bed.
I am not gaining weight, and my I.B.S. actually has improved a bit. So has me G.E.R.D.
The traditional 'you HAVE to eat breakfast', especially, also lunch and dinner thing never worked for me anyway. I do better if I listen to my body-why eat breakfast if you are not hungry? Why not eat before bed if you are starving?
Thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Barrymore, diet is very important in IBS as you have clearly demonstrated. I'm not aware of any specific studies on the timing of meals, but I have long believed that meals are so important. As for the timing, It makes sense that your eating pattern really works with your shift pattern. You shouldn't put on more weight as the calorific intake of your food isn't changing. You are burning this off which is why you are not gaining the weight.

As far as diet is concerned, it is really what works for you at the end of the day. Some information on diet can be found on my web site, IBS Help Online.

Thanks for the question


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Dr Peter Thatcher MBBS, MRCPI. IBS Physician & Gastroenterologist


I can answer questions on all aspects of IBS or the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Medicine and Gastroenterology. This would include aspects of diagnosis, investigation and management of IBS and other gastroenterology or medical conditions.


I am a Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist in the United Kingdom. I qualified as a physician in 1993 and have been practicing Medicine and Gastroenterology ever since. I regularly run gastroenterology clinics and 1:4 patients have IBS. I am also the web master of IBS Help Online, an Irritable Bowel Syndrome help site.

British Society of Gastroenterology Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall. UK

Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, Fully UK Trained Medical Degree at Kings College School of Medicine & Dentistry 1993 Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Examinations 1997

Awards and Honors
MBBS 1993 MRCPI 1997

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