The Ultimate IBS Trigger Foods List

Great IBS trigger foods list to get you on track. The best way to treat IBS symptoms!
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IBS Trigger Foods List Plus Some Amazing Alternatives

I’ve put together a very helpful common IBS trigger foods list to help IBS sufferers reduce the amount of flare ups they have.

Health care professionals from Web MD say that “when you know the things that can make your IBS symptoms flare up, called triggers, you can make a plan to avoid them.”

This is one of the first steps I took when I was diagnosed with IBS and unfortunately determining the triggers was the most difficult task for me.

I had little information on IBS or IBS trigger foods.

Here is the IBS trigger foods list I’ve put together based on personal experience and extensive research.


For Quick Flare Up Relief, Try These!

Before we get to the list, if you’re experiencing a flare up, I recommend these products from Heather’s Tummy Care, simply amazing.

Heather’s Tummy Care makes high quality and healthy products to help with IBS symptoms.  I’ve been using this brand of products for over seven years and they’re amazing!

My two favorites are the Fennel Tea and the Tummy Tamer Capsules which are both below.

The Tummy Tamers are peppermint oil capsules that help relieve IBS symptoms, especially bloating and cramps.

The Tummy Fiber is a perfect option for you if you have IBS C (constipation).

We can’t leave out the fennel tea, another great option for cramps and bloating.  I’ve found this to be especially helpful if you have IBS D (diarrhea).

Heather's Tummy Tamers - Peppermint Oil Capsules with Ginger and Fennel (90 ct)Heather’s Tummy Tamers – Peppermint Oil Capsules with Ginger and Fennel (90 ct)Heather's Tummy Fiber CAN Organic Acacia Senegal (16 oz) for Irritable Bowel SyndromeHeather’s Tummy Fiber CAN Organic Acacia Senegal (16 oz) for Irritable Bowel SyndromeHeather's Tummy Teas Organic Fennel Loose Tea CAN (16 oz) for Irritable Bowel SyndromeHeather’s Tummy Teas Organic Fennel Loose Tea CAN (16 oz) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Avoid Processed Foods

IBS Trigger Foods List Reach for clean and healthy foods as much as possible.

Forget the boxed junk full of chemicals you can’t even pronounce!  Stick with ingredients you know well.

Clean diets are becoming more and more popular and that’s because clean eating is one of the healthiest ways to eat.

Clean eating is a natural way of eating, the products you consume are full of natural occuring ingredients.

I find that junk food and very processed foods leave me feeling bloated and contribute to cramps.

Ditch the processed foods by sticking with a Clean diet or try the Low-FODMAP diet, both wonderful in helping IBS symptoms!


Clean Eating: IBS Safe Foods

Clean eating is a great way to take control of your health, just be sure not to eat any IBS trigger foods.

The best book on clean eating!  

There are tons of great recipes for clean eating, you’d be surprised!


Forget Your IBS Trigger Foods List With These Great Low-FODMAP Books

Many of the common triggers on this IBS trigger foods list can be eliminated through a low-FODMAP diet.

This could be a quick way for you to eliminate triggers and start feeling great again.

FODMAPs are a particular set of carbs that are hard to digest.  Each letter in FODMAP stands for one of those carbs.  Eliminating these could potentially wipe out your IBS symptoms.

Below are my three favorite books on the low FODMAP diet.

IBS: Free at Last! FODMAP Elimination DietIBS: Free at Last! FODMAP Elimination DietThe Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: Managing IBS and other disordersThe Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: Managing IBS and other disordersLow-FODMAP diet Slow Cooker CookbookLow-FODMAP diet Slow Cooker Cookbook

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 Goodbye Dairy! Hello OPTIONS!

Based on my own IBS Trigger Foods Listexperiences, dairy can be quite cruel to the body.

Believe it or not, the majority of people in the United States cannot properly digest dairy products.

Dairy has made a lot of lists of things to avoid, including IBS and acid reflux.

Cows are pumped full of hormones and other yucky things that I just can’t fathom!

Ingredients like milk and cream can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhea.  

Cheese can cause constipation which can also cause abdominal pain and cramping.

So forget the dairy, but don’t sacrifice your favorites, I’ve got some treats for you coming up!


Awesome Alternatives To Dairy

These are my favorite dairy alternatives!

Almond Milk is a game-changer!  Great for cereal, recipes and much more.

Check out this 12 pack below, it’s nice to stock up and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated until it’s opened.

Almond Milk also has a longer shelf life, again, as long as it’s unopened.

I’m an ice cream fanatic, but dairy just isn’t my friend.  Why give up my favorite food when I can make my own dairy-free ice cream!

The book below is full of amazing recipes for the whole family and you don’t have to sacrifice your gut this time! YAY!

Almond Breeze Almondmilk, Unsweetened Original, 32 Ounce (Pack of 12)Almond Breeze Almondmilk, Unsweetened Original, 32 Ounce (Pack of 12)Dairy-Free Ice Cream: 75 Recipes Made Without Eggs, Gluten, Soy, or Refined SugarDairy-Free Ice Cream: 75 Recipes Made Without Eggs, Gluten, Soy, or Refined Sugar


Eat Gluten In Moderation

IBS Trigger Foods List  Gluten is difficult to digest and many IBS sufferers have major symptoms when overindulging in breads, cakes, muffins, etc.  Eat these in moderation.

A few years ago I was having a lot of very bad flare ups and decided to go on a year-long almost completely gluten free diet.

It was very successful and I was able to slowly introduce gluten products back into my IBS diet with minimal issues.

A lot of products containing gluten, include the FODMAP carbs which are said to worsen IBS symptoms.

In my case, I was consuming too much dairy and my body was having a tough time digesting all of it.

Balance is key.


Just Forget The Fried Nastiness

IBS Trigger Foods ListFried foods can leave you feeling bloated, cramped and very uncomfortable.

Just last week I was in Disney World where I consumed some fried food.  Well let me tell you, I was in pain for two days straight and had to take my last day at the parks like a champ and pretend I was all good when in fact, I WAS NOT.  Don’t do it, just trust me.

Fried food is NEVER a good idea, your heart will also thank you later and can keep you living a longer life.

All of the fat and grease can seriously irritate your gut and it’s not worth it!  Leave the fried foods out of your IBS diet.


Say NO to Caffeine: It’s Irritating and Just Plain Addicting!

IBS Trigger FoodsEight years later and I still find myself reminiscing about vanilla lattes.  Not only is caffeine off the list of IBS friendly foods, but so is the coffee bean itself.

I often get asked if it’s the caffeine from the coffee that irritates my gut.  Not at all.  I can personally handle caffeine just fine, but there’s something in the bean itself that can send IBS cramping through the roof!

Coffee stimulates the G.I. tract which can cause more contractions of the muscles in your gut.

This was the very first thing I cut out of my diet eight years ago when I was diagnosed with IBS due to cramping.

Now I enjoy tea lattes, with dairy-free milk!


Artificial Sugars Should Have Never Hit The Market

IBS Trigger Foods List Artificial Sugars are completely unnatural and can cause a lot of abdominal cramping.

I know many people reach for artificial sugars because they are trying to watch their weight or can’t have actual sugar, but that doesn’t mean that artificial sugars are a healthier option.

Artificial sugars are actually worse for your health than actual sugar.  I’m not saying eat all the sugar you want, but stay far away from chemicals.

I found out the hard way that artificial sugars are a no go!  Instead, I recommend Stevia, a natural sweetener.


Try These Delicious Treats With Natural Sweeteners

Zollipops Clean Teeth Pops Variety Pack, 25 CountZollipops Clean Teeth Pops Variety Pack, 25 CountLily's Sweets Salted Almond and Milk Chocolate Bar, 3 ozLily’s Sweets Salted Almond and Milk Chocolate Bar, 3 ozNuNaturals Nustevia Cocoa Syrup, 16 Fluid OunceNuNaturals Nustevia Cocoa Syrup, 16 Fluid Ounce

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Cut Back or Cut Out Alcohol

IBS Trigger Foods ListRemember those bad hangovers?  Try throwing IBS into the mix.

Alcohol is a big one to avoid in your IBS diet.  It’s at the top of almost every IBS trigger foods list.

I would recommend cutting back on consumption and see if it helps your symptoms at all.

I don’t miss those next-morning cramps from too much drinking.

I find that 1-2 drinks that aren’t overly strong I can handle.

Wine is my favorite alcohol of choice because it seems to affect my IBS AND GERD the least.


Extra Tidbits of Info

Each person’s body is different and this does not mean that the triggers listed here will affect everyone.

Additionally, this does not guarantee that the alternatives listed are IBS-friendly foods for everyone and will not cause any IBS symptoms.

On top of that, you may have additional triggers to your own body that aren’t listed here.  This is simply a common IBS trigger foods list that will give you a good head-start on creating an IBS diet that works for you. 

This IBS trigger foods list is a good general starting point, but you should consult your doctor before making any changes. Please refer the Grumpy Stomach disclaimer before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.


The Top Food Journal To Make Your IBS Trigger Foods List

Health Journal: Discover Food Intolerances and Allergies: (A Food Diary that Tracks your Triggers and Symptoms)Health Journal: Discover Food Intolerances and Allergies: (A Food Diary that Tracks your Triggers and Symptoms)

Meet the best food journal out there!

This food journal to the left is unique, it allows you to track much more than just food or beverages.

With this journal you can also track intolerances, allergies and more.

There is also space to record medications, vitamins and supplements.

If you’re in need of a food journal to get you started, I seriously recommend this one here.

A great IBS trigger foods list that includes common triggers along with some alternatives that are IBS-friendly.
Great IBS trigger foods list to get you on track. The best way to treat IBS symptoms!
Your simple IBS trigger foods list, great beginner's guide.

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Photo Credit 5: By Paul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Photo Credit 7: By Suat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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16 Comments

    • I agree Barbara, Anyone would be better off without processed foods, artifial sugars, etc. Unfortunately for us IBS sufferers, not only is it unhealthy and can cause health complications, but it also causes those awful symptoms like cramping and abdominal pain from the IBS. We get hit twice as hard. I never thought about eating foods in excess until I started having IBS symptoms, I used to eat whatever I wanted. I’m so glad I don’t do that anymore.

  1. I cured my IBS! All i had to was simply start tracking all of my symptoms and what I ate and share this information with my doctor and he created the correct eating plan for me. No more IBS! I used Symptomlog.com to track it all. What a god send!

  2. I have been gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, nut, fruit and wheat free for 16 years now thanks to all my issues, which include IBS. However an IBS pill company emailed me the other day and sent me some of their product. I have been taking it for 3 days now and um, HELLO YES! It’s TOTALLY helping. We shall see how the rest of the month turns out but right now – HECK YES!

  3. I would love to do this for my husband, but he is a very stubborn man. Hopefully I can secretly introduce foods that he might love that aren’t triggers. I agree about the processed foods. One of his struggles seem to be soda and not enough water intake. I feel like if he drank more water he’d have less flare ups. But talking to him is like talking to a brick wall sometimes.

  4. these are all great tips thank you! i totally agree with you about dairies, now i know why i always have this bloated feeling. i had to cut down on unhealthy, processed foods from now on..

  5. Whoa, having IBS can be quite difficult when it comes to food options. Glad to know that there are alternatives to dairy, sugar, and the like. 🙂

  6. Hey Sarah,

    Such a well-structured and informative post! I don’t suffer from IBS, but I am SUPER gluten sensitive and I am going to give some of those products you recommend for flare-ups a try.

  7. This is so interesting. I have never heard about IBS trigger foods. I am so intrigued in learning more about it now!

  8. You did a thorough job of outlining what those with IBS can do to lower the triggers that lead to so much pain and suffering. Honestly, I think we all need to eat better and let all crappy, processed food go.

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