What could be triggering/causing your IBS?


IBS can be confusing, especially when it comes to food and eating. Most people just want a list of foods that they should and shouldn’t eat, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.

IBS symptoms differ from person to person, so what you really need to try is finding out what your triggers are. That said, there are things that every IBS sufferer should probably do…

Top 10 food tips for IBS sufferers
(Write them down and stick them on the fridge for easy reference):

Good ideas:

Things to avoid:

  1. Have regular meals (the same time every day) and take your time eating (chew thoroughly)
  2. Drink lots of fluids (the old 8 glasses of water per day) – this helps to keep stool soft and easy to pass along the gut. Even if you’re experiencing diarrhea, you should still drink lots of water to avoid dehydration from fluid loss.
  3. Eat soluble fiber: oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flax seed, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.(Don’t eat anything on this list that you know triggers symptoms and don’t eat lots of the same thing at once – rather stick to the three day rule: only eat the same kind of food 3 days apart).
  4. Limit fresh fruit to around 240 grams per day. Fresh fruit may have too much sugar (fructose) for your body to handle in high quantities, so go slowly.
  5. Check the labels of the food you eat to screen out the stuff your body can’t handle or just avoid pre-made convenience foods altogether.

  1. Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating even when you’re experiencing symptoms. Not eating may exacerbate symptoms
  2. Avoid coffee – caffeine can slow the passage of stool through the gut or do the complete opposite and act as a laxative. Either way, coffee’s a risky option. Rather choose tea, specifically green herbal teas. Most contain L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces stress.
  3. Avoid fizzy drinks: like caffeine, carbonated drinks slow the passage of stool through the gut and may trigger symptoms.
  4. Avoid alcohol and quit smoking – both can have a negative effect on the gut.
  5. Avoid artificial sweeteners (sorbitol, manatol, xylitol, aspartame, stevia, etc.) found in sugar-free sweets like chewing gum, especially if you suffer with diarrhea.

Still looking for more tips and tricks – have a look at our “TIPS” page.


We live in a world that’s very stressful and full of people promising a quick fix. We don’t believe that there’s a quick fix for IBS. Doctors and dieticians can help you find the right path to better health, BUT you have to work at it too. You have to make sacrifices, break bad habits and start new, good habits. It’s hard. But, it’s worth it.

You keep putting one foot in front of the other, making healthier choices and fighting against bad habits, and one day you’ll look up and you’ll have arrived at control.

Say to yourself:
“I’m taking control – and I’m starting today”.

So you’ve made a lot of changes, but your IBS hasn’t gone away. You may have tried a combination of changes such as

  • Medication
  • Diet and lifestyle*
  • Relaxation** (refer to later using a star with links to sections)

and yet, your IBS is still persisting.