Many people with IBS have what are known as “trigger foods”. IBS trigger foods are foods that cause your IBS symptoms to flare up or to become worse. IBS trigger foods vary from person to person & may change over time. Because of this, it can be hard to track down which foods trigger your IBS symptoms. Some people may not actually have any IBS trigger foods, it’s just their body reacting differently to different foods each time. Removing or adding items from their diet may not result in a reduction of their IBS symptoms.

Those with IBS may find that something that their IBS trigger foods seem to vary. Something eaten with out IBS symptoms one day may cause IBS symptoms on another day.

The body can take a considerable amount of time to digest food. Something eaten on a Wednesday may not start causing IBS symptoms until Friday or Saturday. This can make it hard to track down which foods cause IBS symptoms.

Common IBS Trigger Foods

  • Fattening or fried foods such as fried chicken, french fries or salad dressing.
  • Dairy product such as milk, ice cream or cheese.
  • Alcohol such as beer, wine or hard liquor.
  • Caffeine found in soda, coffee or teas.
  • Red meats like beef, pork or lamb.
  • Raw fruits & vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, carrots or apples.
  • Eggs
  • Whole Grains

Sometimes IBS trigger foods are okay so long as you mix them into a non-trigger food base. For example, someone may not have any IBS symptoms if they mix eggs & milk into a pancake batter but if they took the milk & the eggs and made scrambled eggs from the, then they would experience IBS symptoms.

The best way to track which foods might be an IBS trigger food is to keep a food diary. Note the date, the food you ate & any IBS symptoms you experienced that day. Remember that you may not feel the immediate effects of the food you ate that same day so when reviewing your food diary be sure to look back a few days when trying to pinpoint which foods might be an IBS trigger food.