Further help and support - Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Seeing a dietitian for IBS

Your GP may be able to refer you to an NHS dietitian if general diet tips for IBS aren't helping.

They can suggest other changes you can make to your diet to ease your symptoms.

If you want to see a dietitian privately, make sure they're registered with the British Dietetic Association (BDA).

Find a BDA-registered dietitian

Low FODMAP diet

A dietitian may recommend a diet called a low FODMAP diet.

This involves avoiding foods that aren't easily broken down by the gut, such as some types of:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • milk
  • wheat products

The IBS Network has more about FODMAPs.

IBS medicines from a GP

If pharmacy medicines aren't helping, your GP may prescribe a stronger medicine such as:

These are antidepressants, but they can also help ease IBS symptoms. They may take a few weeks to start working and can cause side effects.

Your GP may refer you to a specialist if you have severe symptoms and other medicines haven't helped.

Psychological therapies for IBS

If you've had IBS for a long time and other treatments aren't helping, your GP may refer you for a talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

This can help if stress or anxiety is triggering your symptoms. It can also help you cope with your condition better.

If you prefer, you can refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service without seeing your GP. These offer psychological therapies like CBT for common mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression.

Read more about psychological therapies on the NHS.

Media last reviewed: 05/09/2018

Media review due: 05/09/2021

Support from The IBS Network

The IBS Network is the national charity for people with IBS.

It provides:

Page last reviewed: 09/10/2017
Next review due: 09/10/2020