Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Constipation


I have suffered with IBS for nearly three years. I even had x-rays and a colonoscopy done. Nothing unusual showed in the results.

I started taking Immodium and some other anti-dirr meds. Miralax and Metamucil are inefficient. I have gotten better but still constipation persists. I tried adding fiber to my diet. Nothing wants to come out and I end up straining. It's quite nasty. My "stuff" REEKS LIKE ___. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Hi Esther - I am so sorry, but I am confused. Immodium is for diarrhea, so it can cause constipation as a side effect. Miralax is a laxative, so it will help constipation but can cause diarrhea.

Metamucil is a fiber supplement. It can help both diarrhea and constipation, but it's not my first choice for IBS because it is psyllium, which has insoluble fiber, and can cause bloating and gas. It also has a lot of unnecessary added ingredients like sweeteners, artificial flavors, citric acid, etc.

Are you trying to resolve diarrhea or constipation? Do you alternate between the two? If you are confident you have been properly diagnosed with IBS, check here for information about soluble fiber supplements.

The key is SOLUBLE fiber - you don't want to use INSOLUBLE fiber as a supplement if you have IBS, as it can cause problems.

Soluble fiber resolves BOTH diarrhea AND constipation, brings your bowel function to a normal middle point, and then keep you stable. It will not have the side effects that drugs and laxatives have, and it cannot turn diarrhea to constipation or vice versa.


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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M.A. 1996
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Eating for IBS Finalist for an IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award 2001

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