Low Carb Diets for IBS: My Experience and Two Studies

There is a video accompanying this post that you can watch here. I will usually try to write a post for every video I upload, especially if I think that written elaboration is necessary or beneficial.

As I explain in said video, I struggled with IBS for a few months, which began to rear its ugly head six months after I started eating a HCLF (High carb low fat) vegan diet. I did a fair amount of reading on the subject, and eventually was successful in the eradication of it. Unfortunately, IBS is somewhat of a “throwaway” diagnosis; that is, doctors will label you as a person with IBS if you have certain symptoms, give you medication and shoe you out the door without addressing the root cause. The root cause by the way, is not officially known within the medical community (think $).

Before I continue, I want to mention that I do not believe there is a single route cause of IBS which can be applied to every person, but I do feel confident that if you could boil it down to one thing, it would be gut dysregulation. This is evidenced by two studies that I’ll go into more detail on now. Also remind yourself that these studies support my experience, and I have used both of their respective methods to treat my own IBS.

The first study can be read here. Essentially, IBS-D (the “D” is the designation for diarrhea) patients were fed a standard american diet for two weeks, then followed up with four weeks of a very low carbohydrate diet. All of the enrolled participants reported relief of stool frequency, abdominal pain, and increased quality of life. This study has a few negative qualities however: one is that the sample size (17 originally enrolled) is quite small. This doesn’t mean the results shouldn’t be considered, it just means that large generalizations can’t be made. Secondly, the study was partially funded by the Atkins Foundation, which of course promotes this exact way of eating. However, while a small grain of salt may be necessary, the results of the study should not be thrown out, as the funding bodies did not have any involvement in the study or the collection of data. Overall, the study’s contents and results are worth considering.

The second study was done on a probiotic called Prescript Assist, which I myself took. You can check that out here. Essentially, they took patients with IBS-D and gave them this probiotic for a period of two weeks. What’s great about this study is that it was a double-blind, placebo controlled RCT (randomized controlled trial) which is the gold standard of clinical research. The results? With twenty-five patients, three metrics were significantly improved. These metrics were:  “factor 1, general ill feelings/nausea; factor 2, indigestion/flatulence; and factor 3, colitis.” These findings again illustrate my experience; Prescript Assist was beneficial to me even before starting a low carb diet. I’d like to note that I am in no way affiliated with them.

Well, there you have it. This is how I cured my IBS, and I wish you the best of luck if you are struggling. Until next time, good vibes,