IBS Foods to avoid

If you have IBS, there are certain foods that may make your symptoms worse. If initial dietary advice hasn’t led to an improvement in your symptoms, you may want to try also avoiding specific foods based on the symptoms you have.

  • If symptoms include:
    bloating & wind
  • Foods to avoid
    Limit intake of foods known to cause wind e.g. beans and pulses, sprouts, cauliflower and sugar-free foods such as mints or chewing gum.
     
  • If symptoms include:
    constipation
  • Foods to avoid
    Avoid eating extra wheat bran as this can aggravate symptoms.
     
  • If symptoms include:
    diarrhoea
  • Foods to avoid
    Limit your caffeine intake from tea, coffee and soft drinks to three drinks per day.
    Try reducing intake of high-fibre foods such as wholewheat breakfast cereals and breads.
    Avoid sugar-free foods containing sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol e.g. sugar-free drinks, mints, gum.

IBS Trigger Foods

People who suffer with IBS often find one of the most frustrating things is that there is no one trigger food that is the same for everyone.  Different foods can trigger symptoms of IBS in different people.  Some people find that a certain food could be a trigger one day for them, and then a few days or weeks later they will be fine to eat that food.  That’s what makes IBS so difficult to manage.

Common trigger foods for IBS can include onions, garlic, wheat, certain beans and pulses, some fruits and vegetables, alcohol and coffee.

Learning more about what your common triggers are can help you to manage your IBS.  The IBS Network (the charity that supports patients who have IBS) have designed a Wellness diary a useful tool that can be purchased from their website to help you identify your triggers, and to help you self-manage your IBS.

For more information about dietary advice to manage your IBS, visit our IBS Dietary Advice page.  For more information on how a low FODMAP diet could help manage your IBS symptoms, visit our low FODMAP diet page.