A high-fibre diet means a regular breakfast of bran, muesli or other high-fibre cereal plus 3 or 4 pieces of fruit during the day, and a generous intake of vegetables with main meals, all washed down with plenty of water.
Patients are advised to avoid drinks and foods that stimulate the intestines, such as alcohol, caffeinated beverages, some grains, chocolate and milk. However, one regimen does not help everyone, according to health officials.
Here is a short but helpful video on controlling IBS symptoms:
"It's not easy to treat IBS, even with the best standard medical approaches," said study co-author Dr Olafur Palsson, an associate professor, clinical psychologist and research in the gastroenterolgoy department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "It's chronic and, over time, it's hard to treat because it is complicated."
Ahead of time, the groups rated the treatments' potential benefit, or "credibility," about the same, the study said, but at the end of 8 weeks, the meditation group had a 26.4 per cent reduction in "overall severity of symptoms" compared to a 6.2 per cent reduction in the support group. By the end of 3 months, the disparity persisted as improvement increased to a 38.2 per cent reduction in symptoms for the meditation group versus a 11.8 per cent reduction for the therapy group.