Advertisement
Advertisement

IBS, short for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a functional gastrointestinal disorder. It causes abnormalities in bowel function. There is no one cause for this condition, that doctors know of. It may occur in the aftermath of an infection, traumatic life event, or some dysfunction in the gut’s flora. Concerning IBS-appropriate diets, many foods act as triggers and others that restrict its symptoms. If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, keep reading for a list of IBS-triggering foods you need to avoid.

Advertisement

Processed Foods

These contain resistant starches that defy digestion in the small intestines. They get fermented by bacteria in the colon which they reach intact. Gas and waste production ensues, thus leading to bloating, flatulence and diarrhea, exacerbating IBS symptoms. Packaged foods, ready-to-eat meals, canned food, and frozen meat should be substituted with organic varieties whenever possible.

Advertisement

Milk

Many people with IBS are lactose intolerant as well. This notion means that milk intake may cause bloating, indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea. Also, full-fat milk may make stools runny. Instead, you should consume low-fat variants and yogurt. If, however, there is no significant distress caused by consumption of full-fat milk, you might be able to drink it, but in smaller quantities.

Advertisement

Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and several other caffeinated beverages have a stimulating effect on the intestines. This type of beverage may cause you to experience more intense bouts of diarrhea. Alternative healthy drinks such as coconut water, lime water, and decaffeinated drinks are better for you if you have IBS. If you need a morning pick-me-up, maybe you should go for a quick jog or try to get enough sleep the night before.

Advertisement

Sodas and Other Fizzy Drinks

The bubbles in carbonated drinks are capable of producing similar fizz in the gastrointestinal tract as caffeine. Drinking pop can add to your discomfort, especially if your digestive systems are more vulnerable. Symptoms like bloating and flatulence are likely to increase. It might be hard, but you should avoid both coffee and pop if you have IBS.

Advertisement

Beans

Beans are a rich source of protein and fiber. That may seem like a healthy option, especially if you have constipation. However, they also cause much bloating, gas, and cramps in the abdomen. This reaction usually outweighs the favorable digestive properties. If you have IBS, don't overdo it on the beans.

Advertisement

Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol is known to worsen symptoms of IBS in many individuals. It contains toxic substances that are highly taxing on the digestive system. Many people claim to experience much relief from symptoms by merely lessening their amount of alcohol intake. Although you might indulge in a drink or two, you should stick to non-alcoholic options.

Advertisement

Sugar Substitutes

Most sugar substitutes contain sorbitol or its numerous alternatives. These have a laxative effect in the colon and may cause bloating and runny stool. Thus, adding them to food and beverages or picking sugar-free variants of eatables like gum is highly discouraged. If you have IBS, you will want to avoid sugar substitutes.

Advertisement

Nuts and Seeds

Though fiber can help some people with irritable bowel syndrome, too much of it can also cause many unwanted symptoms. Nuts and seeds are popular choices for healthy snacks, but in the case of IBS, they might create more of an issue than an improvement. Along with raw fruits and vegetables, the insoluble fiber in nuts and seeds can stimulate the digestive system, leading to blockages or bloating.

Advertisement

Fatty Foods

Foods high in fat content are more difficult to digest. Therefore, fatty foods may burden an already vulnerable gastrointestinal tract. You should consume low-fat substitutes to avoid the possibility of indigestion and diarrhea. That means saying no to most fast food and greasy meals. Depending on how busy your lifestyle is, this might be easier said than done.

Advertisement

High-Fructose Foods

Fructose is often not well-absorbed by some digestive systems. Thus, it has the potential to accumulate natural water into the colon. This action causes osmotic diarrhea, leading to runny stool, bloating, and gas. You should avoid sweet beverages, juices, honey and other fructose-rich foods when you have IBS.

Advertisement

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are considered to be very healthy for the digestive process. That is because they are high in fiber. However, if you have IBS, these veggies may lead to gastrointestinal distress such as abdominal pain, bloating and gas. You should consider eating other leafy greens instead.

Advertisement

Some Grains

People with IBS should eat whole grains for easy and effective passage of stools. However, did you know that very high quantities of grain and bran can cause diarrhea? Although that is the case, you should consume them in moderation rather than eliminating grains from your diet. Whole grains are still healthy for you.

Advertisement

Chocolate

Most store-bought chocolates have high-fat content, tons of sugar, and even some caffeine as well. Thus, they may not suit people who have a more sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Not all individuals with IBS react negatively to chocolate though. You will have to judge based on your personal experience. A little bit might be okay in moderation.

Advertisement

Lentils

Lentils are known to be somewhat difficult to digest. If you have IBS, you may tend to produce gas and inflammation if you eat lentils. However, the experience is different from person to person. Thus, if lentils do not seem to have a repercussion after digestion, they may be consumed as desired.

Advertisement

Gluten-Rich Foods

Gluten is a protein contained in many foods that are ordinarily consumed by most people. However, some have systems that are intolerant to it, while others may be strongly allergic to gluten. You might fall in either category if you already have IBS. You should, therefore, switch to gluten-free alternatives whenever possible.

Advertisement

Cheese

Cheeses of different kinds and creamy varieties, in particular, are known to produce symptoms of IBS. You need to observe your body's reaction to the various types of cheeses. That way, you can establish which are better suited to your system. You need to avoid any cheese that triggers your IBS symptoms.

Advertisement

Fried Foods

Fried foods have high-fat content along with loads of spices; thus, fried foods can be a burden on the digestive system. If you have IBS, it may be wise for you to avoid them whenever possible. In the event you want to indulge, try eating a smaller portion. Also, grilling and baking foods may be an excellent alternative to frying.

Advertisement

Corn and Corn-based Products

Corn is highly fibrous and may aid stool passage if you are constipated. However, it also contains high amounts of sugar. The risk of osmotic diarrhea and other symptoms increases if you have IBS. Thus, you should avoid corn and corn-based products if possible. As much as you might like this sweet food, try another veggie like carrots.

Advertisement

Spicy Food

Spicy foods often cause diarrhea and abdominal pain as they irritate the stomach’s lining. Thus, consuming spicy foods is impeding the natural digestive process. If you have IBS, you should focus on foods with herbs and condiments as opposed to those rich in spices. You won't have to deal with symptom flare-ups after eating a meal.

Advertisement

Other Triggers

There are many other foods which may trigger IBS symptoms. The body’s reaction to foods may differ from person to person. Hence it is essential to be careful about what you consume. You should carefully observe and note your response to various foods, especially if they tend to produce an IBS attack. Over the course of time, gradual dietary modifications are likely to alleviate significantly the many discomforts associated with this condition. However, for most people, it takes much commitment and self-policing of food choices to arrive at such a juncture.


Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.