Can Diet Make a Difference?


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms, including pain or discomfort in your abdomen and changes in your bowel movement patterns, that occur together. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, talk with your doctor about how adjusting your diet may help.

Certain foods or drinks may make symptoms worse:

  • High-fat foods
  • Some milk products
  • Drinks with alcohol or caffeine
  • Drinks with large amounts of artificial sweeteners
  • Beans, cabbage and other gas-causing foods
  • Gluten-containing foods (for some people)
  • Fermentable carbs (fructose, honey, apples, pears, mangoes, cherries, etc.)

To learn if certain foods trigger your symptoms, keep a diary and track:

  • What you eat daily
  • Your symptoms
  • When symptoms occur

Take your notes to your doctor and talk about which foods seem to make your symptoms worse. You may need to avoid these foods or eat less of them.

Sources: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases;