Having regular meals helps prevent IBS in adults
Individuals who observe a regular meal pattern are less likely to have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), IBS-mixed, and the syndrome severity, a study has shown. Meal regularity is also associated with lower IBS prevalence in women and in those with normal weight.
A total of 4,599 adults working in 50 different health centres participated in this cross-sectional study. The authors used a pretested questionnaire to measure dietary habits. They also identified IBS by using a modified version of Rome III questionnaire.
IBS prevalence stood at 18.6 percent in men and 24.1 percent in women. After adjusting for potential confounders, participants with a regular meal pattern showed a 40-percent reduced likelihood for IBS (odds ratio [OR], 0.60, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.41‒0.87) than those with irregular meals.
Individuals with regular meals also had an 82-percent lower risk of IBS-mixed compared to those with irregular meals (OR, 0.18, 95 percent CI, 0.08‒0.43).
In stratified analysis by gender, women with regular meals had a 44-percent reduced risk of IBS than those with irregular meals (OR, 0.56, 95 percent CI, 0.34‒0.91).
Normal-weight individuals with a regular meal pattern had 63-percent lower IBS risk (OR, 0.37, 95 percent CI, 0.22‒0.64). In addition, participants who had regular meals were 53-percent less likely to develop severe IBS symptoms (OR, 0.47, 95 percent CI, 0.30‒0.71).
“More prospective studies are needed to affirm these associations,” the authors said.