Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Fiber


Hi Heather, Sorry for the confusion I am on Diet Kit#2. I started the program on July 19, 2013 I went 4 days with taking the fiber with half a teaspoon in water 2 times a day, then I went to 1 teaspoon and sprinkled over my food as you have suggested to me but I am having issues as to the fiber due to more discomfort,pain, swelling, gas my nausea as well. I know that IBS patients can handle the fiber and some that cannot, I feel I am one that cannot take fiber.

I have tried fiber before and the feelings and symtems I have now are the same as to now with taking the fiber both ways. Is there anything else I can do for the fiber problem ?

Hi Ila - I'm so sorry you are struggling. Some people do seem to find it really difficult to tolerate any kind of fiber supplement. In general though, if they're using a 100% soluble fiber with a high GI tolerance (like the acacia), it is tolerable if they start at a low dose and increase gradually.

You do want to alternate your increases - so you'd go from 1/2 tsp twice daily, to 1/2 tsp in the am and 1 tsp in the pm. Stay there for 4 days. Then to go to 1 tsp twice daily, stay for 4 days. Then 1 1/2 tsp in the am, but still 1 tsp pm.

And if you are prone to bloating add to moist foods, not liquids.

You are on a very very low dose - just a few grams a day.

Some people actually increase by just 1/4 tsp at a time, so you could drop back down to the starting dose of 1/2 tsp twice daily, stay for 4-5 days, and then add an extra 1/4 tsp to just one dose. Continue from there.

If you just can't take fiber supplements at all, that's okay, but be really careful that all snacks and meals have a high soluble fiber foundation from foods. Check here And if you cook, try adding your fiber dose right into meals as you cook them. For reasons I can't figure out, some people do just fine with fiber supplements added into meals, but not so great when they take them separately.

Also check here for general things to watch out for if you're prone to bloating/swelling or gas.

Please let me know how things go.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Heather Van Vorous


I can address questions regarding diet, cooking, recipes, and non-pharmaceutical supplements (soluble fiber, herbal, probiotics, etc.) for IBS. I can supply information sources about diagnostic guidelines, symptoms, and the medical pathology of IBS, but I cannot give a diagnosis or analyze test results a patient has obtained. I would prefer not to answer questions about prescription drugs and diagnostic tests. PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOUR SYMPTOMS AND THEN ASK ME TO DIAGNOSE YOU!


I'm the founder and CEO of, an organization dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My goal is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

I'm the author of Eating for IBS, the only explicit dietary guide and cookbook for people with bowel disorders. Eating for IBS then led to my second book, The First Year: IBS, a comprehensive view of the disorder and every way to successfully manage it. Together, these works have become the two best-selling, best-reviewed IBS books in America.

My writing has led to an ongoing Canadian clinical research study of the groundbreaking dietary guidelines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Eating for IBS; this work also led to my inclusion in the 4th edition of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. Today's Dietitian has featured my IBS dietary guidelines, and my work has reached gastroenterologists and internists. I'm the author of "Heather's IBS Newsletter", which is free to subscribers and is published twice monthly. As a result, I've become recognized as the foremost patient-expert on IBS in America. I've personally had IBS since age 9.

I now teach classes on managing IBS through lifestyle modifications, I developed the Heather's Tummy Care line of organic medical foods for the dietary management of IBS, and I'm planning to work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs. I host Heather Cooks!, the Seattle television cooking show for good digestive health, which is now available on DVD and also on the HelpForIBS YouTube Channel.

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