Foods To Avoid If You Have IBS

If you are among the 15% of Americans suffering from IBS, no one has to tell you about the chronic symptoms. There’s the bloating effect, the gas effect, plus all the discomfort, and excessive trips to the bathroom.

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but do experience these symptoms, you may want to pay attention to these foods and consider avoiding them.

What Is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common problem that affects the large intestine. It usually affects those younger than 45 years of age and occurs twice as often in women.

Gas, bloating, stomach pain, and alternating diarrhea and constipation are all typical symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. No one has determined the exact cause for IBS however, it is possible to manage it through lifestyle changes, stress reduction and changes to diet.

Food And Food Groups To Avoid With IBSIBS

There is a group of foods which all contain a carbohydrate difficult to digest, and especially so for those with IBS. The term for this group of foods is FODMAPS. These foods sit in the large intestine fermenting bacteria which leads to gas.

Some of this FODMAPS include:

  • Wheat and rye.
  • Fruits like apples, pears, blackberries, cherries, mangoes, nectarines, apricots, plums, and watermelon.
  • Canned fruit in natural juices
  • Candy and sugar-free gum containing artificial sweeteners. Note these types of sweeteners end with an “OL,”  like xylitol.
  • Vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, beans, cabbage, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, along with snap and snow peas.


Products like milk, soft cheese, and ice cream can be difficult to digest. Our body needs Lactase, an enzyme that breaks down sugars in milk in order to prevent this. Undigested lactose remains in the colon causing gas and other symptoms.

Coffee And Alcohol

Caffeine stimulates the colon and may cause diarrhea. Some of the most triggered foods for IBS include dark chocolate, dark sodas, and certain OTC meds which contain caffeine.

Carbonated Drinks

These include sodas, seltzers, and bubbly alcohol.


Gluten intolerance plays a prominent role in IBS symptoms. Therefore avoid pasta, crackers, cereals, granola, baked goods, and grains. Choose gluten-free substitutes.

Use A Symptom Checker

Those with IBS may have different triggers. Start by following a low FODMAP diet to see if your symptoms are relieved. Keep a record of what you eat and any symptoms that ensue. Slowly you may discover exactly what foods to avoid and uncover your worst triggers.

Contact one of our gastroenterologists in the Kansas City area at (816) 941-0800 if you have symptoms of IBS.