9 foods to avoid if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

If you experience IBS, steering clear of these trigger foods may make it easier to manage your symptoms

We all understand the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet. But when you’re trying to avoid causing an IBS flare-up, managing to eat a diet full of essential nutrients can be a struggle. To help, we’ve put together the following list of IBS-triggering foods that don’t belong on your plate.

  1. Alcohol can cause stomach irritation which can lead to diarrhoea. Limit yourself to drinking less than two units a day, no more than 5 days a week.
  2. Apples, although full of fibre, have been known to trigger IBS symptoms.
  3. Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and energy drinks. This is because caffeine can trigger colonic spasms, constipation or diarrhoea.
  4. Dairy products containing lactose often cause bloating, diarrhoea and discomfort.
  5. Fizzy drinks cause bloating and wind.
  6. Excess gas-causing foods such as onions, broccoli, beans and lentils.
  7. Polyols like sorbitol, mannitol or xylitol can cause diarrhoea. They are often found in low calorie, artificially sweetened products like chewing gum, sugar free mints and flavoured water.
  8. Red meat like beef, lamb and pork may upset IBS symptoms.
  9. Spicy food packed with chilli pepper.

When changing your diet, take gradual steps with small changes at a time so you’ll be able to identify exactly what’s aggravating your symptoms.

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