Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Jun;7(6):706-708.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2009.02.023. Epub 2009 Mar 10.

A very low-carbohydrate diet improves symptoms and quality of life in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Colorado Denver, 12631 East 17th Avenue, Room 7609, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.



Patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) anecdotally report symptom improvement after initiating a very low-carbohydrate diet (VLCD). This study prospectively evaluated a VLCD in IBS-D.


Participants with moderate to severe IBS-D were provided a 2-week standard diet, then 4 weeks of a VLCD (20 g carbohydrates/d). A responder was defined as having adequate relief of gastrointestinal symptoms for 2 or more weeks during the VLCD. Changes in abdominal pain, stool habits, and quality of life also were measured.


Of the 17 participants enrolled, 13 completed the study and all met the responder definition, with 10 (77%) reporting adequate relief for all 4 VLCD weeks. Stool frequency decreased (2.6 +/- 0.8/d to 1.4 +/- 0.6/d; P < .001). Stool consistency improved from diarrheal to normal form (Bristol Stool Score, 5.3 +/- 0.7 to 3.8 +/- 1.2; P < .001). Pain scores and quality-of-life measures significantly improved. Outcomes were independent of weight loss.


A VLCD provides adequate relief, and improves abdominal pain, stool habits, and quality of life in IBS-D.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk