• Yasmin Norazharuddin

How to recognise IBS trigger foods

Different individuals have different guts, which is kind of obvious. This is what the one diet law does not apply to everyone. Even for a person without IBS and they follow an Atkins diet, some of them won’t follow the diet to the T because of several reasons:

  • Might not suit their budget

  • Might not suit their dietary intake

  • Might not suit their taste palette

  • Might not suit their lifestyle

The same applied to a restricted diet for IBS like low FODMAP or Paleo. We are not saying they don’t work. They do, but may not produce the same effects across populations. This is why personalising your plate works best and this is how it works:

First, you need to recognise your food allergies

The best and most accurate way is to go to the clinic and get a test. However, you can do an elimination diet by eliminating the common food allergies for 2 weeks. Add them again slowly afterwards and see if any gastrointestinal symptoms reoccur:

  1. Lactose

  2. Gluten

  3. Tree nuts

  4. Peanuts

  5. Shellfish

  6. Soy

Second, know your guilty pleasures

Food, that is, And everyone has their own. These guilty pleasures tend to be the least healthy foods we usually eat. Sometimes habitual foods can come off unnoticed and we don’t realise that one of the ingredients trigger your IBS symptoms.

Third, note down foods that you ate prior to the symptoms

It does not need to be a detailed diary. Just having a small journal near you will do the trick. Remember to list out the ingredients too.

Fourth, recognise timings related to the food consumption and symptoms that occur afterwards

Sometimes, it’s just bad timing. You may be stressed prior to eating that food and causing aggravation of symptoms. Also, if you know certain foods cause you gas and watery stool but you still want to eat it (we are all human anyway), eat or drink it only in safe places like at home. But you should only consume these foods occasionally.

Finally, manage your allergies and trigger ingredients

Once you spot the ingredients that trigger you, it will be easier for you to manage them by:

  1. Reducing the amount, for example, use ¼ teaspoon of garlic instead of 1 clove or cut 1 cup of coffee from your usual intake

  2. Replace with alternatives or opt for lower lactose ingredients like hard cheeses which have lower lactose content than soft cheeses

  3. Change the time you take that specific food or ingredient, for example, you like eating steamed broccoli but you know it causes you gas, so eat a small quantity at home during the weekend in case any symptoms occur you are safe at home

  4. Change the way you cook, for example, you realised you get diarrhoea right after eating any fried foods, so change the methods from frying to baking or better yet, invest in an air fryer!

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