Planning how you’re going to eat is important. If you’re going out to a restaurant try to avoid things that are a trigger foods. Don’t be afraid to not order something that is going to upset your digestion. If there is nothing on the menu you feel safe eating, don’t order it. You can always pack yourself a lunch or eat something ahead of time. This can be awkward in a social situation, but it is also very uncomfortable feeling sick later on as well. Unfortunately you may be subject to peer pressure to order something or to “try this” while you’re there. It can be frustrating & some people might get offended when you refuse. It’s hard to turn people down, especially when they get hurt feelings from it, but you can’t risk your health over someones feelings.

You may also want to avoid eating out so that you have more control over how your food is prepared. While many restaurants are starting to release more information about what goes in their food & take special requests, many do not or state that they are something they are not(e.g. saying a product is gluten free when it is not). There is also the small, but real, risk of food poisoning when eating out. This can also happen when you’re at home if you’re not careful. Informing yourself is the best thing you can do here. Most restaurants have ingredient lists on their websites. You could also call or ask in person. Additionally many health departments list restaurant food safety ratings online as well, which is good to know regardless of if you have IBS or not.

If your symptoms are bad enough, then eating when you’re out and about may not seem very appealing at all, so you may avoid it entirely. A lot of IBS sufferers out there will still need to make their way outside of their homes once in awhile(running errands, seeing a movie, etc..) or on a regular basis(going to work or college). So there are going to be times where you’re faced with eating and possibly having symptoms or going hungry. No one can function without eating, so it is important that you do try to eat something. Something plain and basic like rice crackers, a banana or maybe a bagel could be worthy considerations.