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Published on April 25, 2017

junk food

Common diet triggers for IBS

Each person with IBS has different symptoms and triggers, but here are some foods to avoid.

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, can cause symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, cramping, bloating and gas. As many as 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have symptoms of IBS. It is a chronic condition, although there are times when symptoms are bothersome and times when symptoms may improve or even disappear completely.

Each person with IBS has different symptoms and triggers but here are some of the most common food triggers for IBS:

Foods that may make IBS constipation worse:

  • Processed foods (cookies, chips)
  • Refined grains (white flour) in breads and cereals
  • Dairy products (especially cheese)
  • High protein diets
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Foods that may make IBS diarrhea worse:

  • Too much insoluble fiber (such as from the skin of fruits and vegetables)
  • Fried foods
  • Dairy foods, especially if you are lactose intolerant
  • Foods with wheat if you are gluten-sensitive
  • Chocolate
  • Large meals
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Other tips for managing IBS symptoms:

  • Don’t eat too quickly
  • Try eating multiple small meals throughout the day instead of 3 big meals
  • Focus on soluble fiber instead of insoluble fiber to help ease constipation without bloating or diarrhea
  • Ginger, peppermint and chamomile may improve a variety of digestion issues
  • Processed foods can contain unsuspecting ingredients that trigger IBS flare-ups
  • Smoking may worsen symptoms
  • Stress and anxiety can trigger flare-ups

If you’re not sure what foods are triggering your symptoms, try the elimination approach. Make a list of foods you suspect may be causing your symptoms and eliminate one food at a time for 12 weeks to see if it makes a difference in how you feel.

Copyright 2017 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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