12 Foods to Avoid with IBS

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a chronic disorder which impacts a person’s normal intestinal function. It causes muscle cramps in the abdomen, which usually happens in response to certain foods. There are medicines that are effective in lessening the common symptoms of IBS, such as gas, constipation, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps.

That being said, everyone is unique, and the symptoms may vary, so you should always keep away from certain types of food if you suffer from IBS.


As a stimulant, caffeine doesn’t only stimulate your brain but also your gut. So, if you’re suffering from IBS, and you need a little boost in energy, it’s always safer to reach for a quick snack rather than a coffee. You don’t want to risk upsetting your stomach.


Alcohol affects not only your liver but it can also have an impact on your digestive system. The way in which the body digests alcohol, paired with its other negative effects, can have an impact on even the healthy person’s digestive tract. Therefore, a person with IBS may experience alcohol’s negative impact to an even greater extent.

If you decide to continue with alcohol consumption, consult with your doctor to see which drinks would be a better choice in your situation.

Fried food

Fried foods have a high fat concentration. The fatty food can have a really bad effect on someone that suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. So anything that is deep fired is a no go. Consider baking or possibly grilling any fat-rich food, as an alternative.


On top of having an IBS, being lactose intolerant is another common trait that many IBS sufferers share. Normal dairy products, such as whole milk cheese or yoghurt, can immensely aggravate IBS symptoms. 

Luckily, there are a lot of lactose-free alternatives. Products like almond, coconut or soy milk, and ice cream or cheese alternatives are readily available in almost all supermarkets.


Chocolate, apart from being rich in sugar, has a high concentration of caffeine. The combination of the two causes constipation problems to most people who suffer from IBS. Luckily, there are alternatives to even chocolate that are much more bearable.

Sugar-free sweeteners

Sugar, in general, and sugary foods are bad for anyone. Especially if consumed in high quantities. So, steering clear from foods that are high in sugar is a must for people suffering from IBS.

You should even be wary of products that claim that they don’t contain any sugar, because, more often than not, they have artificial sweeteners in them. And they are in many ways worse than normal sugars.

Garlic and onions

Garlic and onions can be found in many tasty dishes from around the world. If you like to cook, knowing that you have to stop using them may be difficult. But, if you suffer from IBS you might not have a choice. 

Onions and, especially garlic, in their raw or cooked forms cause a lot of problems to someone suffering from IBS. They can cause severe cramps, due to the fact that they are difficult for our bodies to digest.


It’s a protein commonly found in a lot of grains. You do not have to have IBS to be gluten intolerant. Luckily, there are many alternatives.

Gluten-free options are very common, and you basically wont have many restrictions when it comes to your normal diet. Just remember to read the packaging to make sure that the food you’re purchasing is 100% gluten-free.

Broccoli and cauliflower

They usually cause wind or constipation to people with IBS. SImply because they are not the easiest to digest. Grating them before cooking seems to work for some, but the safest option is still avoiding them completely.

Insoluble fibre

Fibre is a very important part of a normal, balanced diet. Having IBS may make you intolerable to insoluble fibre, however, seek an alternative in soluble fibre.

This is the type of fibre commonly found in oats, peas, and beans. Additionally, fruits like apples, or citrus fruits have a high concentration of soluble fibre.


As a good source of protein and soluble fibre they are a good foundation for many vegan-based diets. However, depending on the person, they can cause bloating and gas, or cramps to people who have IBS. Because of that, some people choose to completely cut them out of their diet.

Fizzy drinks

Since they are carbonated,  they cause a lot of extra gas to be taken in alongside them. To some, this can cause problems such as bloating or trapped wind. Therefore, someone with severe IBS symptoms might want to steer clear of them.

FODMAP foods

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. It gets its name from different carbohydrates that are easy for our body to dissolve and properly absorb. Making them the ideal, staple ingredient of a healthy diet.

The FODMAP diet is commonly recommended to people who suffer from IBS, simply because they are easily digested. And even if a change in your diet didn’t help much with your recurring IBS symptoms, there are many IBS medicines that ought to provide you with some sort of relief.