Coffee and IBS-D

Hi folks

Does anyone else have an issue with coffee? I thought I was doing ok recently, majority of symptoms had pretty much gone altho I'm on a few tablets which are helping I guess.

Avoided lactose and got some lactose enzyme tablets to take if I had to eat out and couldn't avoid diary. They worked sort of but not totally.

Anyway today I've barely left the bathroom all afternoon and all I can put it down to is the 3/4 cups of coffee I've had. I've heard caffeine can be a problem but is it that extreme that quickly for anyone else???

Any thoughts are very welcome.


16 Replies

  • hi,

    I have been unable to drink coffee for years ,ever since I started with ibs,

  • Yes coffee is definitely an IBS trigger

  • If you are taking tablet medication check the ingredients as they may contain lactose

  • I love coffee but it doesnt love me back. Or maybe it does, by giving me a great big belly hug! Lol

  • Seems I can't have anything I love anymore, all my food and drink favs are now off limits. No more coffee, milk chocolate, milkshakes or 99's in the summer, no cream teas etc Its like my stomach has said you've enjoyed yourself for too long now you pay!!!!

    I wouldn't mind so much if I had lost a bit of weight but not at all I've gone up a size from being bloated.. It all kinda sucks. On the upside I've had so many tests now I know the rest of me is fairly healthy so fingers crossed that continues, people have to suffer with a lot worse illnesses with worse outcomes :-( So a restricted diet is a small price to pay I guess, just no one likes a sudden flare up it always feels like 2 steps forward 3 back.


  • If you want coffee, try the Folgers 1/2 Caffeine & see if you can drink that. I use that with no cream or sugar - just black. So far, I don't seem to have a problem with this coffee.

  • Hello Coz

    Sorry to hear you've got this debilitating condition too. For what its worth I never seemed to get much useful advice from the brief appointments with my gp, but saw a private consultant who was very helpful. Four weeks ago now and the first thing he said was cut out all caffeine - it interrupts the signals between the brain and the intestine, so the gut gets out of its routine. He said I could go back on a little after a couple of months or so once it settled down. Other things he said were avoid an excess of fibre - as it can irritate. He also prescribed an anti-spasmodic drug and told me to keep taking "Laxido", as small a dose as I could tolerate without constipation as it both causes bloating and eases the motions. Of course my IBS may be different to yours, but I did notice a considerable improvement after stopping caffeine, although I then had to cope with a couple of days of unpleasant leg and hip pain as withdrawal.

  • This is an interesting message & very helpful. However, is it ok to drink de-caffeinated coffee and tea?

  • Hello there.

    My consultant said stick with decaffeinated tea (or coffee). Unfortunately it hasn't had a long term effect for me, but was initially very encouraging. Worth a try if nothing else. The leg pain was a surprise, other people get a week-long headache. I also understand there's quite a lot of caffeine in chocolate but I don't indulge.

  • Thank you oordvark that is encouraging. I have been to the shop and got de coffee & tea, so hopefully it will help.

  • I used to drink a lot of coffee in the States, but it was decaffeinated. Since moving to the UK, I mainly drink tea. I drink one caffeinated tea in the morning, and any other I may have during the day is decaf. About 3x a week, I have a caffeinated coffee. I haven't noticed too much difference between the days I have that one coffee and the days I don't, but I will pay much more attention now that I am tracking things closely. :)

  • Some coffees are worst than others, avoid Strong Expresso's, I can drink those milder Maxwell house Latte sachets you can get in carton from the likes of Farmfoods etc. But just the one only a week. Im a tea person really, I like my Earl Grey to, but in recent years, Earl Grey for some reason doent always agree with me.

    I always add semi skimmed milk to make my coffee less strong.

  • Coffee was a major trigger for me and I used to love it now I just stick to bottled water as many drinks can be triggers

  • Coffee can bug me. But different brands affect me differently. One of our ubiquitous coffee shops in Canada will send me running to the washroom within minutes of having a sip. Other brands I tolerate with no major issues. So if it's important to you, try a different type.

  • Yep! Coffee hates me too! Sometimes even minutes after my last sip I have to rush to the bathroom :(

  • Me no coffee too :( even Decaf???

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