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Readers Respond: What Foods Do You Avoid Because of Your IBS?

Responses: 49


Updated October 11, 2012

What foods do you avoid because of your IBS? How did you know these foods would cause you trouble? Share your experience with food and learn from other people what foods you should be watching out for!

IBS Triggers

I have cut out diary, gluten , sugars, nuts, caffeine (tea is ok if black ) and I find my energy levels have increased and my stomache is clean and healthy
—Guest fiona

things that helped me

For anyone wanting a bit of relief I recommend doing your research into slippery elm (not the "food" as that contains wheat), Quinoa, peppermint capsules, ginger, Chlorella, chamomile, eating and sleeping routine and yoga for ibs. These have all really helped my ibs improve... alongside cutting out fodmaps, refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol and I haven't eaten meat for 14 years anyway. As an active 27 year old I was shocked and found it emotionally hard being diagnosed with ibs. I'm very lucky to have a qualified nutritionist as a best friend but make sure you talk to people and get support from family and friends as this is also vital to a long term recovery.
—Guest cat


cottage cheese, bread, fibre, milk, caffine, raw vegetables
—Guest Renee


I've had IBS for years. I've tried to eat high fiber, low fiber, fat free, you name it. The "healthy" foods that are often recommended are trigger foods. I've now learned that everyone has different trigger foods. It's not always gluten, caffeine, chocolate, fat or red meat (the foods the doctors tell you to stay away from). It is different for everyone. Food sensitivities and intolerances cause painful symptoms and over time, can lead to chronic disease. Finally, through my profession, I found an accurate way to test food triggers, heal the gut and eliminate symptoms! It's been a godsend!!
—Guest Lisa


—Guest Betty

Triggers and Relief

I've had IBS as long as I can remember. About since I was 5 years old. It gradually got worse when I got older. My known triggers are anything and everything dairy. Summertime BBQs will kill me too. I guess the hot temperature and eating red meats trigger it. I don't like chocolate too much so I stay away from that anyways. I replaced milk with Almond milk. I hear there is a lactose free sour cream in certain stores but I haven't found any yet. I take Zantac but I noticed my body ignores the fact the medicine is in my body now so I take some ice and place it in a Ziploc bag and let it sit on my stomach. I don't know why but the pain usually goes away within minutes.
—Guest Brittney

Over thirty years of suffering.

There are no specific trigger foods for me. I can eat one thing one day and eat the very same a few days later and bam. With in minutes the bloating starts to the point my abdomen expands by inches. I look like I am going to give birth. I have had every test that can possibly be done during a flare up. The diagnosis has been IBS every time. The only trigger my physician and I can come up with is stress level at the time. I have tried the IBS diet and still no improvement. I have gone gluten free and my flare ups are less frequent. I take probiotics. If you are at your wits end try giving up wheat, rye, barley, and soy for a while and see if that helps. Watch out for some oats as the are made in the same manufacturing plants as wheat, barley, rye and soy. Hope this helps. Good Luck
—Guest Celia


I was just diagnosed with ibs about a month ago but I been having so much pain with this for so long, so I am trying to try and find what foods that trigger the pain thank you

yes to the lettuce

I seem to have trouble with milk, lettuce, and fried foods. Have had plenty of accidents in my day! I have not heard that artificial sweeteners were a culprit. Will give that up now too. But not happily!
—Guest joyce

Elimination Diet solved the puzzle

Over the past decade I've heard a wide array of things listed as the cause of my IBS: everything from stress to mushrooms. Just this year I finally got to the bottom of what triggers my IBS by doing a methodical elimination diet and I now know that gluten, corn and eggs are the main culprits. I used to be lactose intolerant and potatoes used to be a trigger for my symptoms, but now that I'm avoiding gluten, corn and eggs and have given my gut time to recover, I can have dairy and potatoes again. It's possible that all these years I've actually been suffering from undiagnosed celiac disease. If you don't know what triggers your symptoms I highly recommend working with a nutritionist to do a methodical elimination diet and test every food that you normally eat 3 times per week or more.
—Guest Amanda

fatty foods

i have had this on and off, i find eating out is a problem, just had a half smoked salmon sandwich and here we go again. the inflammation and pain is unbearable. complicated problem finding the source. wheat, fats , and things i havent found yet!!
—Guest carol

Cause for me was meat

For years I had IBS and went to the toilet about 8-10 times a day and had chronic back and stomach ache about 5-6 days a week. My partner started a vegetarian diet which I was dubious about but went along with it intending to go back to meat when I proved it made no difference to my health. When I cut out all the meat I found that my IBS disappeared completely. Occasionally when stressed it will rear its ugly head again for a day but I have found that not eating meat has completely cured my IBS. I feel now that I can lead a normal life and take a long car journey without the panic of needing the toilet. I'm not saying it will work for everyone but for me it has stopped my IBS 99% of the time so I definitely recommend trying the veggie diet. There are plenty of foods you can eat and you can still eat meat every now and then (although it does flare for me when I have some) and you will also benefit from a healthier diet and none intentional weight loss (I have lost 1/2 stone).

My symptoms

Im 14 years old and yesterday the doctor told me i have IBS! I have a lot on pain and uncomfortable movement in my large intestine which causes me to be nauseous and sick puking all the time. I was told no carbonated drinks, no caffeine, no sweets , and no chocolate , also no tea! I find that every time i eat something, i immediately have pain and the i'm going ti be sick feeling !
—Guest JordyLeigh


"What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About IBS" by Richard N. Ash & Winifred Conkling. Not only will this book explain to you precisely what's going on with your body, it has an entire 30-day eating plan to help cure your IBS without having to use harmful pharmaceutical drugs.
—Guest Kat

No bbq for southern belle

My first experience years ago followed a nice big BBQ sandwich, "nightmare" cramps, race to find restroom at the kids ball game and 1/2 a bottle of pepto bismol later, the cramps and explosive diarrhea passed but left it's memory. Next case happened after I ate a nice big salad which had never given me a problem before, thought i was headed to the hospital but had a friend with me who has IBS and she gave me one of her Lomotil pills which saved me from the expense of an ER visit and introduced me to what might be wrong with me. From there I have had problems following eating out at Chinese and Mexican restaurants, coffee in the morning ( perhaps if I could learn to drink it black? I dunno) if I overindulge in basically anything, fried foods for sure (ate a couple fried green tomatoes the other day and paid dearly for that indulgence!) Anything spicy (New Orleans was a nightmare vacation, indulged on day one and spend all of day two in the bathroom at hotel instead of sightseeing!
—Guest raine

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