Repeated episodes of pain in the abdomen and changes in bowel movements resulting in diarrhea or constipation are the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Some foods are known to be common triggers of this condition. Therefore, dietary changes are generally recommended by a general practitioner or gastroenterologist to avoid IBS symptoms as much as possible. This article lists the common IBS food triggers that you should remember to manage your IBS more effectively.
If you are lactose intolerant and experiencing IBS symptoms, you should limit the consumption of lactose-rich foods. These include items like cow’s milk, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, among others. These foods are known as contributors to conditions such as gas and bloating. If you are lactose intolerant, try some alternatives such as soy milk and almond milk. If not, simply consume low-fat versions of lactose items like low-fat milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc. Do not completely remove dairy products from your diet as they are an important source of calcium. Speak to your doctor in case you wish to stop the consumption of dairy products, as he/she might advise you about taking calcium supplements instead.
- Fructose-based foods
High fructose foods are among the common IBS food triggers and responsible for bloating. Fructose is not just found in processed foods, but also natural foods. Processed foods like carbonated drinks, chips, among others, are generally made of high fructose corn, which should be avoided to prevent the flare-up IBS symptoms. Naturally, foods with high fructose content include apples, pears, watermelon, peaches, and cherries. Fructose is also found in natural sweeteners like honey and agave nectar.
- Insoluble fiber foods
Fiber is of two kinds – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in grains, root vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Whereas, insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and seeds. The problem with insoluble fiber is that it does not break down in the gut and does not dissolve in water. Hence, it just ends up as waste in the digestive tract, which then causes bloating. However, insoluble fiber may relieve constipation. Nevertheless, fiber is good for digestion and make sure to consume soluble fibers in controlled amounts.
Another one of the common IBS food triggers is gluten. If you are gluten intolerant, you might suffer from celiac disease. Foods like bread, pasta, pizza, cakes, cookies, crackers, seasonings, and semolina need to be avoided to reduce the negative effects of IBS.
Everyone loves a good cup of coffee or tea every day, as it recharges and energizes them. But for IBS patients, caffeine can elevate the symptoms. So, the next time you want to feel energized, stick to nuts, fruits, or decaf drinks.
The above five common IBS food triggers need to be avoided if you want to reduce the symptoms associated with this condition. A doctor can help you chart proper meal plans as well.