Foods That Cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Foods That Cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Foods That Cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Image:

No single perfect diet exists for those who suffer irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); however, a variety of foods are considered trigger foods. Until you know which foods cause an IBS reaction, keep a food journal.


Keeping a food journal helps you to identify the foods that are safe for you. Once you know a safe diet, slowly add new foods, especially concentrating on those with fiber. Continue to keep a journal of reactions to new foods until you have a wide range of foods that you can tolerate.

Beverages to Avoid

The lactose in dairy drinks may exacerbate symptoms of IBS if there is already pre-existing intolerance to lactose. Caffeine in coffee and tea has been associated with IBS symptoms, and the body's inability to effectively process alcohol may trigger IBS flare-ups. Artificial sweeteners in beverages, such as those in diet sodas, are also suspects.

Foods to Avoid

Fatty foods, fried foods and rich foods are instant culprits of irritable bowel syndrome. For many, red meat triggers symptoms, too. Those with IBS should avoid large meals and gassy foods such as beans, onions, garlic and broccoli.


People diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome often think that their love of certain foods suddenly ends, but many people with IBS eat a wide variety of foods. Usually, they do so only after experimentation and careful documentation. Foods higher in fiber will speed the digestive process and decrease IBS-related discomfort.


While IBS is a manageable condition, no one should start a new diet without the knowledge and consent of a health-care practitioner. Certain IBS medications will not work as effectively with certain foods. Those with IBS need to share their food journals with a doctor during routine visits.

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