What should you not eat for IBS?
Last reviewed Sat 10 Feb 2018 By Rachel Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C
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Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a medical condition where a person experiences frequent abdominal symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, or both.
While doctors do not know what the exact cause of the condition is, they do know that it is a disorder that affects how the brain and gut interact.
When a person has IBS, they may notice that certain foods seem to trigger or worsen their condition.
What are IBS trigger foods?
Although these foods can be different for each person, doctors have identified some common "trigger" foods that tend to cause digestive symptoms over other ones.
If a person is hoping to control their IBS better, they may wish to eliminate some or all of these foods, then re-introduce them, one at a time, to identify which ones may be worsening their symptoms.
Foods to avoid
Various dairy products to avoid on IBS diet, including cheese, milk, cream, and butter.
Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and cream, may trigger IBS symptoms, and should be avoided.
Many doctors recommend what is called a low FODMAP diet to avoid triggering IBS symptoms. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for fermentable, oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols.
These names represent different carbohydrates known to worsen IBS symptoms by causing gas, stomach pain, and make constipation worse too. If a person has IBS, they may wish to talk to their doctor or work with a dietitian to determine if a low-FODMAP diet could benefit them and improve their symptoms.
Listed below are 16 foods to avoid on a low-FODMAP diet:
artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol, maltitol, or xylitol
lactose in dairy products, such as milk, ice cream, sour cream, and cottage cheese
pizza and other fried foods
These are examples of the most common foods known to cause stomach upset when a person has IBS. A person may wish to keep a food and symptom diary.
In a diary, they can write down all the foods they eat and if they have any symptoms after eating them. By looking back over several days of food journaling, a person may be able to identify trigger foods that made their symptoms worse.