Top 10 Triggers for IBS and Bloating

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and it’s a disorder of the digestive system resulting in stomach cramps, bloating and/or altered bowel movements. It’s estimated that around 20% (1 in 5 people) of the population will suffer from IBS at some point in their life, which can be triggered or made worse by stress and changes in the diet. A doctor formally diagnoses IBS, usually after a number of tests to exclude other causes.

Although symptoms can vary for each individual, there are some common food and drink culprits that can trigger symptoms.

Are there any surprises here?⁣


🥤Fizzy drinks (inc. no added sugar varieties) – If fizzy drinks are a trigger, try to knock out as many bubbles as possible and drink them slowly

🍬 Sweeteners – Many ‘diet’ or ‘light’ products may contain sweeteners such as sorbitol, erythritol and xylitol which can trigger stomach upset if consumed in excess.

☕️ Too much caffeine – Aim for no more than 2-3 cups a day, or switch to decaf.⁣

🍎 Overconsumption of fruit – Keep to max 3 portions a day, spread into equal-sized portions (and limit fruit juice to 150ml a day!)

🍻 Too much alcohol – Have no more than 14 units a week, spread throughout the week with alcohol-free days

🌶 Spicy foods – Don’t add spice to all of your meals! Keep for the right recipe/ occasional treat

🦷 Sugar-free gum – Only have one at a time and keep mindful of the frequency

🧅 Onions – Halve the amount if using in a recipe⁣ if these trigger you

🥦 Cauliflower/Broccoli – Consume in smaller portions if you enjoy it!⁣

🍝 Resistant starches (e.g. cooked and cooled pasta) – Consume pasta after cooking (fresh pasta may also be less bloating) and opt for riper bananas instead of green (which contain less resistant starch)⁣

It’s important to note, that it’s not just foods that can trigger IBS symptoms. Research suggests, those that who suffer from chronic stress, anxiety and depression are more likely to experience IBS related symptoms and vice versa due to the gut-brain axis – the bidirectional network between the brain and the gut. So don’t neglect your mental health and well-being too! 💙

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