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The 10 Most Common IBS Triggers

The 10 Most Common IBS Triggers

IBS can be difficult to manage – especially when it comes to mealtime. At times it can seem that your IBS is triggers by the most simplest of foods or sometimes can seem like all foods trigger it. Living with IBS can be a challenge but the biggest hurdle is figuring out what your triggers are. Everyone is different, and some can be more or less tolerant to different things.

Here is a list of the most common triggers.

Foods with High or Moderate Amounts of Insoluble Fiber

You can find insoluble fiber in wheat bran, high fiber breads, whole wheat pasta, crackers, wheat germ, popcorn, bulgur, quinoa, millet, amaranth, and whole nuts and seeds. You can also find it in the skin of fruit and vegetables.

Gluten or wheat

Some people have difficulty digesting the compounds found in wheat and wheat flour (gluten). This is something to be mindful of when choosing what to eat.

Refined or Processed Foods

Chips, cookies, crackers etc. are all highly processed and can trigger IBS. These foods are hard for anyone to digest so can be especially bad for those with IBS.

Cruciferious Veggies

Cruciferious vegetables are vegetables of the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae). They are all known to cause gas and bloating and include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, and brussels sprouts.

Allium Vegetables

Allium vegetables are used a lot to provide flavoring in dishes. They include garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, and chives. Try using other herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano or savory to add seasoning to your dishes.

Beans and lentils

Beans and lentils are difficult to digest and cause gas, bloating or diarrhea.

Fatty Foods

Anything high in fat content like fatty meats, cold cuts, fried foods or foods cooked heavily in oil.


Dairy, especially cheese can cause trouble for many people with IBS.

Carbonation, Caffeine and alcohol

Beverages in general pose a problem due to carbonation, sugar content or caffeine. Alcohol is also a common trigger and should be avoided or limited.


Refined sugar, fructose and the sugar substitute sorbitol are all common triggers. Chocolate is also a common trigger.

Besides avoiding these foods, you should also avoid overeating, drink plenty of water and try eating lots of soluble fiber. Consult your gastroenterologist if you are struggling with your IBS or if you think you may have it.


Further Reading:

Celiac Disease Test: When should you get screened

Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free RVA Restaurants

The Five Most Common Digestive Diseases