Question: What foods should I avoid so my IBS won't act up?
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to specific foods and IBS, because a variety of factors -- stress, hormones -- can affect the severity of IBS symptoms. Therefore, you may find that a food that bothers you after one meal may be fine another time. It also is important to remember that simply eating a large meal may exacerbate symptoms, regardless of the types of foods eaten.
That said, there are some foods that do have the potential for aggravating the digestive system:
- Fatty and fried foods
- Foods and drinks containing artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes
- Gas-producing vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, beans)
- Fruits, if you have an intolerance to fructose
- Dairy products, if you suffer from lactose intolerance
High FODMAPs Foods
Researchers have identified specific components of foods,called FODMAPs, that are more likely to contribute to IBS symptoms. These researchers have classified foods as being high, low or neutral in FODMAPs. There is some research to show that avoiding high FODMAPs foods and choosing more low FODMAPs foods can help to improve the symptoms of IBS. Here is more information regarding work in this area:
- The FODMAPs Diet Theory for IBS
- Effectiveness of a Low FODMAPs Diet for IBS
- Foods on the FODMAPs Diet
- Reader Experiences with the Low FODMAPs Diet
- Low FODMAPs Diet Recipes
- FODMAPs Book Review: IBS-Free at Last
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.