A balanced diet is essential for your overall health but in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, certain foods trigger uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
There are no specific foods that trigger IBS symptoms. Different foods can trigger IBS symptoms for different people. Therefore, it’s not possible to make a single list of foods that one can avoid.
When people avoid their dietary triggers, they experience:
Regular bowel movements
Know more about which foods to eat and avoid if you are suffering from IBS.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Foods to Avoid
There are two kinds of fibre commonly found in foods – soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is found in foods like fruits, oats, and beans while insoluble fibre is found in grains and vegetables. The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) recommends foods with soluble fibre for people suffering from IBS.
Gluten is a protein found in grains including rye, wheat, and barley. It can worsen the problems for people suffering from IBS.
Many people suffer from celiac disease, which causes the body to have a serious immune reaction to gluten. Others may suffer from gluten intolerance. These conditions can cause symptoms like diarrhoea-predominant IBS.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the intestinal cells, resulting in poor absorption of nutrients.
Research shows that a gluten-free diet can help improve IBS symptoms.
Dairy causes problems in people with IBS for several reasons.
Firstly, most dairy products are high in fat that can cause diarrhoea. Consuming low-fat dairy can help reduce the IBS symptoms.
Secondly, people with IBS show symptoms of lactose intolerance, and milk can trigger the IBS symptoms but more research is required in this aspect.
If you feel that dairy or milk products are responsible for your digestive problems, switch to dairy alternatives or plant-based milks.
5 Reasons for Going Dairy-Free
Processed and Fried Foods
Fried foods are high in fats and that can be hard on the digestive system for people with IBS. Frying changes the chemical makeup of the foods and makes them difficult to digest, thus causing digestive problems. Therefore, one must switch to alternative cooking methods like baking, grilling, etc.
Processed foods not only contain salt, sugar, and fats but also additives and preservatives that can cause IBS-related problems. These foods also increase the risk of IBS, cancer, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Alcohol and Caffeinated Drinks
Alcohol should be avoided by people with IBS due to the way it is digested by the system. It further causes dehydration, which affects the process of digestion. Even if you choose to drink, limit your alcohol intake and choose gluten-free, sugar-free drinks without artificial sweeteners.
Coffee and caffeinated drinks like energy drinks and cola have a stimulating effect on the intestines, which can cause diarrhoea. Therefore, choose a healthy snack or go for a walk if you feel lethargic.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Foods to Eat
Since dairy is a rich source of calcium, people who cannot consume dairy can eat other sources of calcium like greens, beans, nuts, sardines, seeds, etc. It is advised to choose calcium-rich foods over calcium supplements because they may do more bad than good to your body.
People whose IBS symptoms get triggered because of gluten can include gluten-free grains in their diet like quinoa, sorghum, oats, buckwheat, almond flour, coconut flour, etc.
According to Harvard Medical School, people with IBS must follow a low FODMAPs diet (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols). These include fish and other meats, eggs, butter and oils, hard cheeses, carrots, celery, eggplant, green beans, kale, pumpkin, etc.