Maintaining a food diary can help keep IBS triggers in check. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can vary for different people. So, learning about IBS food triggers and the prevention of these triggers can help alleviate IBS symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and stomach pains. Read on to know the most common IBS triggers and prevention of the same.
- Veggies/Legumes: Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and beans cause bloating and are best avoided by people looking to identify IBS triggers. If you must eat these, soak lentils and beans overnight and rinse them well prior to cooking for easy digestion.
- Gluten: Gluten is a protein in barley, rye, and wheat that can trigger IBS symptoms. Gluten can cause an immune reaction called Celiac disease in some. So, people with IBS symptoms should ideally avoid gluten and opt for a gluten-free diet to alleviates IBS symptoms. One can choose from quinoa, buckwheat, coconut flour, and almond flour.
- Dairy foods: Another group of foods that can trigger health issues for people with IBS. For instance, high-fat dairy foods can cause diarrhea; however, switching to low-fat versions may help. For some IBS patients, milk is an IBS trigger; in such situations, it is best to choose soy-based cheese and plant milk. Furthermore, one should eat calcium-rich foods like leafy greens, nuts, sardines, seeds, and beans as an alternative.
- Fried foods: Fried foods like french fries are strictly discouraged for IBS patients as these are known triggers. The high-fat content in these foods makes them unsuitable for IBS patients. Instead, one can bake or grill their favorite foods.
- Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks like coffee have a stimulating effect, leading to diarrhea in IBS patients. It is best to avoid caffeinated drinks, energy drinks, and sodas and choose to eat snacks for energy.
- Processed foods: They contain excess sodium, added sugar, and high fats, which are known IBS triggers. Examples are premade meals, processed meats, chips, and deep-fried foods. These also typically contain preservatives that can trigger flare-ups.
- Chocolate: Candies and bars made from chocolate can trigger IBS as these are high in sugar and fat. These also contain caffeine and lactose, causing constipation in IBS patients.
- Sugar-free sweeteners: Gum, sugarless candies, and diet drinks have artificial sweeteners and negatively impact health, causing gas, discomfort, and laxative effects.
- Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks are triggers for IBS patients as alcohol causes dehydration, hampering normal digestion. Beer, for instance, has gluten while wines have high sugar amounts. Therefore, it is best to cut down on alcohol consumption if one has IBS.