How do you feel about our website?
Great   Indifferent

Avoid These Foods if You Have IBS

Avoid These Foods if You Have IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 1 in 20 Americans and causes abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. If you are one of the 5% of individuals who have IBS, you may find that lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, stress management, proper hydration, and a well-balanced diet can help you manage your symptoms. 

But what exactly constitutes a well-balanced diet? For those with IBS, certain foods (even healthy ones) can exacerbate your symptoms. 

In this blog, Eric Ibegbu, MD, and our team at Atlantic Medical Group, highlight some of those dietary triggers you should avoid if you have IBS.


Gluten is a group of proteins in wheat, barley, and rye, and it’s most known for causing trouble for people with celiac disease. But research shows that gluten can cause issues for those with IBS. Trying gluten-free foods can alleviate symptoms in some people with IBS. 

Avoid any products with wheat, barley, or rye flours. Instead, look for packages marked gluten-free or made with oats, buckwheat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, or quinoa.

Dairy products

Dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese, can trigger IBS flare-ups. If you find that dairy doesn’t agree well with your stomach, consider switching to dairy-free products such as:

If you cut out dairy, be sure to add plenty of calcium-rich foods to your diet. Calcium is a very important nutrient, but it’s not just in dairy products. You can find it in canned salmon (with the bones), dark leafy greens, and nuts and seeds.

Fried foods

Even though fried foods might taste delicious, they aren’t healthy for anyone, whether or not you have IBS. Fried foods are high in fat and can trigger painful symptoms in those with IBS. Consider swapping your fried favorites for a baked version:

Keep a food log to track which foods cause the most issues for you.


Beans are a heart-friendly food rich in fiber and protein, but unfortunately, they can cause gas, bloating, and cramping if you have IBS. That’s because beans contain oligosaccharides, a compound that contributes to the gassiness. 

Avoid beans and lentils if they cause problems. Or try soaking beans before cooking them. This helps your body digest them easier. If you try soaking them but still struggle with gassiness and bloating, it may be best to avoid them altogether.

Processed foods

Researchers found that four (or more) servings of processed foods per day increases the risk of developing IBS as well as high blood pressure and obesity. Examples of processed food include prepackaged meals, frozen dinners, chips, candy, processed meat, and fried foods.

Certain drinks

Food isn’t the only dietary trigger. What you drink can also exacerbate IBS symptoms. Some of the most common drinks that trigger IBS include:

Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

When dietary changes alone aren’t enough

Changing your diet can help you manage some of the more unpleasant IBS symptoms, but sometimes that’s just not enough. At Atlanta Medical Group, Dr. Ibegbu is an expert when it comes to helping patients manage IBS. 

In addition to recommending the appropriate dietary changes, he can also prescribe medications 一 antibiotics, fiber supplements, or antispasmodics 一 to help you find relief. Call our office in Kinston or Jacksonville, North Carolina, to schedule your appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Benefits of Nonsurgical Weight Loss

Do you need help losing weight but don’t want to undergo weight loss surgery? Nonsurgical weight loss procedures might be right for you. Read on to explore the top benefits of nonsurgical weight loss.

Complications of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is known for causing heartburn and indigestion, but is there more? In this blog, we dive into the three complications of untreated (or undertreated) acid reflux and how we can help you manage acid reflux.

Who’s At Risk for Colon Cancer?

Knowing your risk for colon cancer can help you determine when (and how often) you need a colon cancer screening. In this blog, we share the risk factors for colon cancer and what you can do to lower your risk.

Do I Just Have to Live With Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux causes heartburn, a burning sensation in your throat, and it can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. But are you stuck with these symptoms forever? Here are six lifestyle tips to help you get comfortable.

4 Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Talking about hemorrhoids can be embarrassing, but the sooner you get treatment, the better you will feel. Read on to explore four symptoms of hemorrhoids and how to tell you when you need more than at-home care.

Help! I'm Struggling to Lose Weight

Does the scale refuse to budge no matter what you try? It can be frustrating to try and lose weight on your own, but at the Atlantic Medical Group, you’re never alone. Read on to learn how we can help you safely lose weight.