Irritable Bowel Syndrome, commonly abbreviated as IBS, can be a difficult condition to manage. IBS is not life-threatening, thankfully, and can be successfully managed without too much difficulty. An important part in managing your IBS is avoiding (or taking precautions when eating) certain foods, commonly referred to as “trigger foods”.
These IBS trigger foods vary from person to person. IBS is an individualized condition, you may consume some trigger foods and be perfectly fine. Others, and even some not on this list, will throw you for a loop, and you’re back to feeling under the weather. It’s important to know what your IBS trigger foods are, and how certain foods and drinks affect your body.
Some common IBS trigger foods include (but are certainly not limited to:
- Dairy Products – Includes milk, yogurt, and cheeses. Your doctor can test for lactose-intolerance.
- Caffeine – Includes coffee, soda, and sometimes tea.
- Legumes – Includes beans and lentils
- Rough Vegetables – Includes some vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts
In figuring out your trigger foods, it is often recommended to keep a food diary or journal. Start tracking what you eat, what time, and how you feel in the hours afterwards. You may find that certain dairy products bother your stomach, but legumes are just fine! You will likely find trigger foods for your IBS that are not on the above list. Tools such as MyFitnessPal, among others, can even help you track calories, as an additional benefit. After a few weeks of testing, tweaking, and tracking, bring the journal with you to your next doctor’s appointment, and together you can come up with a diet plan that works best.
This process may seem like it eliminates many options in your diet, which is not the case. It’s important to focus on the foods you can eat, rather than those which affect you negatively. This is a great starting point for getting your IBS on track. If you’re having trouble managing your IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Therapy may be able to help.