April is IBS Awareness Month so what foods ... - Healthy Eating

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April is IBS Awareness Month so what foods do you see as triggers for IBS?

22 Replies

Good morning everyone,

As one in seven people are now believed to have IBS in the US which could collate to us having 8K members who suffer from IBS makes this is a very topical subject.

My opinion is that 'we' as a society especially in the developed countries have lost touch with our real dietary needs and instead of questioning why we have constipation, the runs, indigestion etc we reach for a remedy when the real remedy is based on us making better dietary choices for us.

I know that artificial sugars are a big trigger for some and personally do not like chemical flavouring in my food so I am not surprised that modern diets are causing problems with our bodies.

So how do you treat your IBS please?

2 links on IBS and IBS Awareness:



22 Replies
Zest profile image

Hi Hidden ,

I will look forward to reading those links later. I already try to avoid artificial sugars, and also try to keep my sugar level as low as I can.

Zest :-)

Marylou54 profile image

FODMAP diet was suggested to me by dietician at hospital. Started off well but then life events interfered (and of course caused more IBS type problems) and so that all went haywire. Am thinking of starting to try that again. Info re FODMAP can be found online. Not very good at adding links!

in reply to Marylou54

Hi Mraylou54 then let me add one for you and thanks for the suggestion. 😊


Marylou54 profile image
Marylou54 in reply to

Many thanks Hidden :)

benwl profile image

For me not getting enough fibre is a definite trigger.

I think I had multiple causes in the past, perhaps just a general overload of inflammation, possibly dairy or fats and at one point onions seemed to trigger it, but on my current low oil vegan diet it's just fibre.

Kitten-whiskers profile image

Excellent post Jerry and I quite agree Diet is paramount. I had terrible IBS until I gave up Gluten, then it all went away (thank goodness)

Activity2004 profile image

Great job on the posting, Jerry! Thank you for sharing this with everyone!😀

Hi Jerry

An excellent post and thank you. I totally agree with you 100% re dietary needs and there are far too many synthetic foods out there i.e. synthetic flavouring. Also, margarines are awful as they contain so much synthetic additives that I will only eat butter and nothing else.

The foods that I have found that irritate my tummy are: raw carrots, raw onions, baked and kidney beans, sweetcorn, normal bread (I now make and eat sourdough bread and am much better) and some fruit but I've not yet worked out which fruit irritates my tummy.

I have been under a Dietician but have now been signed off as I was starting to feel so much better but had a slip at the weekend and think that may be because I was at a friend's house and she baked some little things, not sure what they were called, and they were made with chickpea flour, spinach and potatoes and fried and little doughballs (they were tiny) and I had about 4 of the chickpea flour ones and one doughball. I didn't feel well on Sunday night, Monday or part of yesterday but I think I have also had some kind of virus so it could be a combination of the IBS and a virus.

I am going to go back to keeping a diet sheet and marking down any symptoms and will do this for a while and see if I can find out what else disagrees with me.

I am eating so much better than I was a few months ago in that I don't eat chocolate any more, make my own raw fruit bars, one pot meals etc.

in reply to

Hi Alicia, and thank you for giving so much detail as this should help others a lot.

I'm sorry you were made ill at a friends as the chick pea wotsits sound really good and thoughtful.

Good luck with your diet sheet and I'm pleased for you with your diet and it's reward of well being. 😊

in reply to

Hi Jerry

You are welcome and a very good post and thank you.

It might be that the food she made which was lovely was a little rich for me as I don't eat a lot of food that has been fried. She really did take care in what she made and she is like me and doesn't go for rubbish, in fact is was my friend that bought the Clever Guts Diet book before I had it and she told me about it.

I have just saved a diet sheet on my computer and will make notes of what I eat and what symptoms I get, it's the only way to combat IBS and I know it'll work. :)

Fran182716 profile image

I used the FODMAP diet to identify triggers though there weren't any surprises it confirmed I'm ok with dairy and moderate quantities of wheat ( a lot of wheat causes some bloating but not the horrible symptoms I get from trigger foods)

If I stick to avoiding triggers I'm pretty much symptom free.

Problem foods for me are brassicas, alliums and legumes.

There's some I can't touch without very unpleasant symptoms, and some I can tolerate in very small quantities. It's been trial and error and I'm still occasionally caught out by something I've not prepared myself ( leeks being the worst they will cause vomiting as well as bowel symptoms) I've found out some things are brassicas by symptoms happening and looking the suspect up ( mustard - who knew?)

I don't use any medication, if I eat a trigger by mistake I just wait it out, symptoms normally gone within 24 hours.

Edited to add- though there are common culprits, trigger foods are very variable from person to person which is why an elimination process is important you don't want to cut out things that you might be okay with as it limits your chance of maximising nutrients.

xOceanx profile image

I don't believe in ibs.

Penel profile image
Penel in reply to xOceanx

Good that you found your problem foods, but IBS does exist and can be related to more than food.


xOceanx profile image
xOceanx in reply to Penel

Penel.. i wrote.. " I don't believe in ibs"

im more than happy to leave the ibs lable etc for others🌷

in reply to xOceanx

Hi Little_Toad, IBS does exist whether you acknowledge it or not is your prerogative and Penel was only being helpful as it is IBS Awareness month.


I'm pleased that you sorted your issues out. 😊

Penel profile image
Penel in reply to xOceanx

Conventional medicine certainly doesn’t always know the answers, it’s good to hear that you found alternatives that work for you.

in reply to xOceanx

NHS basically wouldn't want to spend a fortune on patients bloating/food "sensitivity"/food allergy issues. This particular area of expertise, I believe, can be very expensive as it may include all sorts of investigations/studies to get to the diagnosis. They/NHS are primarily there for life-threatening conditions, not spending money on looking into your silly bloating/GI distention etc. Lucky if someone lives near a decent, large NHS hospital, where special expertise is available and they'd investigate your GI issues further. I did ask to see a specialist food allergist outside my area a few years ago. The old GP thought it wasn't important (it's nothing life-threatening). But others nearby the hospital had the access and got investigated/found the root cause of the GI problems. I agree that this is a neglected area. Yes, the label of IBS is not a proper diagnosis. It's an umbrella term for "nobody knows what you've got but you got some tricky gut, I will give you FODMAP list so just get on with it". Some people are happy with that, loads of others aren't (based on the numerous posts on the HU on this topic, it seems there's no shortage of). Eliminating food groups only because you are sensitive, could mean some long-term consequences. Some sensible people spend money on functional medicine or hire a nutritionist. If you have a formal GI diagnosis like Crohn, Gluten intolerance, you found out what you had and you are lucky. Some people are expected to JUST get on with it with FODMAP without knowing exactly what it is that's causing the gut irritation, sensitivity, etc etc. I'm not surprised if some people aren't exactly happy without access to a proper investigation to find out the root cause of their GI issues. Without knowing what it is, it can be dangerous to eliminate certain food groups entirely on your own.

Having said that, a thread like this would be very useful as people would start to understand the different perspectives that other members have.

in reply to xOceanx

I have also recently "discovered" that people negatively commenting on Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) regarded as a chronic "functional" gastrointestinal disorder (FGID). I previously was not aware of this.

"Functional" does not mean, "working", it means, no medical cause/somatization. I also am a believer that every malfunction has a medical, underlying cause. Anybody's "IBS" probably has a valid medical cause in my opinion as LT seems to be suggesting. It could be any number of inflammatory GI disease(s) yet to be formally diagnosed.

If you have any systemic issues, GI issues ("IBS") could well be part of the picture as I do. So there's no point of giving me an anti-depressant to reduce anxiety/depression, which may be causing IBS (somatization). This could well be a form of sexism (there was a very active thread on this subject on HU!). If men approach gastro dr, he might be more interesting suggesting an investigation. When women approach gastro, she might be told, "oh poor dear, are you stressed lately? etc". This issue is real in healthcare, but I digress. ;)

Penel profile image

I would also recommend having a look at a low FODMAPs diet if you have either IBS-D or IBS-C. The Monash University site has the most comprehensive information on the diet and has found that approximately 75% of sufferers who tried it had some relief from their symptoms.


After years of trying to cram myself full of high fibre foods, the low FODMAPs diet has been a revelation. I’ve always tried to avoid heavily processed foods and added sugar, but as others have said, “healthy” foods can be a trigger for IBS. I’d already been avoiding gluten and lactose for many years. My particular triggers are onions, garlic, and too much fruit.

Peppermint or ginger teas have been very useful.

in reply to Penel

What an excellent reply Penel and very informative and I couldn't agree more regarding high fibre foods. My problem foods tend to be raw carrots, raw onions, baked and kidney beans, sweetcorn, normal bread (I now make and eat sourdough bread and am much better) and some fruit but I've not yet worked out which fruit irritates my tummy. I can eat broccoli every now and again, I can eat it for a few days then I have to keep off it for a couple of weeks or so. I also find caffeine can often make me feel just slightly yukky or nauseous. You are right in what you said in your previous post in that we are all different so have to follow our own elimination diet.

I have a ginger tea in my cupboard, I really must drink it.

Also, thank you so much for the link.

Penel profile image
Penel in reply to

Hi crazyfitness

Fruits can be a real problem because they contain fructose and polyphenols. I’ve had to give up apples and pears, amongst others. The serving size also seems to be important, even for the low fructose ones.


I think I probably spend too much time on the internet!

Activity2004 profile image

xOceanx ,

Please check your private messages. I just sent you a message right now.

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