Which Foods Trigger IBS?

Which Foods Trigger IBS?

It is now believed that approximately 2 in 10 people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the UK. IBS causes discomfort, or worse, in the stomach and significantly impacts people’s lives, particularly in severe cases. While IBS can be difficult to treat and manage, there are things you can do to relieve symptoms. Here are six foods that can trigger or impact IBS.


There are several possibilities as to why dairy could flare up those who suffer from IBS. It could be the lactose, or it could be the high-fat content. While it is still unclear, a good proportion of IBS sufferers associate dairy as a trigger.

Sugar-Free anything

While sugar-free may seem a healthier option, it’s not always the case. Artificial sweeteners are heavily processed and often contain sucralose, sorbitol and mannitol, which can cause digestive discomfort, laxative effects and cause IBS symptoms to flare up.


Gluten can cause issues for a wide range of people. For example, those with celiac disease have severe immune responses to gluten, and some may have a gluten intolerance which can cause diarrhoea and nasty side effects. However, research has shown that those who suffer from IBS can improve their symptoms by maintaining a gluten-free diet or reducing their gluten quantities significantly.

Onion and Garlic

If you like cooking, you’ll be more than familiar with these two ingredients. Both are a base for many dishes and a great way to add flavour. However, they both are notoriously difficult for the intestines to break down; this can lead to cramping or gas. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them raw if possible, but they can still trigger symptoms even when cooked.


Alcohol can cause your body to dehydrate if you have too much and impact your digestion. Often, alcohol is high in sugar or contains gluten. Either way, alcohol can be a risk for IBS sufferers. Therefore, it’s best to limit your quantities and learn which alcoholic drinks trigger your symptoms.

Anything Fried

Yes, we know they’re delicious, but their high-fat content can irritate you, especially if you suffer from IBS. In addition, foods become more difficult to digest after being fried, leading to uncomfortable symptoms. Alternative options such as baking and grilling are better for your IBS, plus better for overall health.

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