Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)Further help and support

Seeing a dietitian for IBS

Your GP may be able to refer you to an NHS dietitian if general diet tips for IBS are not helping.

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

Watch a video guide from NHS dietitians

Our 45-minute video guide can help you learn more about managing your symptoms.

It's similar to the advice you'd get if you saw a dietitian.

The guide covers things like:

  • general diet tips for IBS
  • advice on certain types of food, like dairy and gluten
  • basics of the low FODMAP diet
  • allergy testing

Watch our IBS video guide on YouTube

Low FODMAP diet

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

This involves avoiding foods that are not easily broken down by the gut, such as some types of:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • milk
  • wheat products

The IBS Network has more about FODMAPs.

Private dietitians

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

IBS medicines from a GP

If pharmacy medicines are not 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 have not helped.

Psychological therapies for IBS

If you have had IBS for a long time and other treatments are not 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.

Find out more about psychological therapies on the NHS

Support from The IBS Network

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

It provides:

Page last reviewed: 08/10/2017
Next review due: 08/10/2020