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Jun 10, 2022
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8 Foods That Cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome

8 Foods That Cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder that affects about 15 percent of people in the United States. A functional gastrointestinal disorder is defined as one in which the gastrointestinal tract does not always function normally, but there are no noticeable structural abnormalities. Similarly, when doctors order any tests, the results usually come back as usual.

Irritable bowel syndrome occurs twice as often in women than in men. Its symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include the following:

  • alternating constipation or diarrhea or both
  • abdominal pain
  • altered bowel habits
  • bloating and gas
  • feeling of fullness

8 foods that can worsen irritable bowel symptoms

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is not digested in the same way as other foods; only 20 percent is absorbed by the stomach and the rest is absorbed by the small intestine. Thus, alcohol can put the digestive system out of action. As the alcohol travels through the stomach, it produces an abnormally high amount of acid.

2. Dairy products

Lactose intolerance is the inability to fully digest the carbohydrates in milk. Babies are born with the ability to synthesize an enzyme that allows them to digest lactose. The researchers found that while about 67 percent of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant, only 4 percent of adults in Denmark are, while 100 percent of adults in South Korea are lactose intolerant.

Dairy products such as milk, cheese and ice cream can cause symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, flatulence and cramps in patients who are lactose intolerant.

3. Fruits with stones

Stone fruits like peaches and cherries are often high in fructose, which is a monosaccharide and thus one of the FODMAP carbohydrates. Fructose can affect IBS patients in the same way that dairy products affect people with lactose intolerance.

4. Other sources of fructose

Stone fruits are not the only foods that are high in fructose.

These items include the following:

  • watermelon
  • pears
  • honey
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • grapefruit
  • blackberry
  • apples

5. Red meat

While red meat is a good source of nutrients like vitamin B12, it is also difficult to digest. Poultry and fish tend to be easier to digest.

6. Chocolate

Chocolate contains various ingredients that can cause IBS. It contains caffeine, which is a diuretic and can therefore make stools drier and harder to pass.

7. Artificial sweetener

Researchers have found that artificial sweeteners are toxic. They also damaged the mice’s ability to metabolize glucose.

8. Fried and fatty foods

Fried foods are bad for digestion, especially if they are also high in fat. Fatty fried foods such as french fries, chips, and some meats are high in saturated fat, which the human body has a hard time digesting. Therefore, the body must produce more digestive enzymes and gastric juice than usual in order to digest it. Fried foods also upset the balance between intestinal bacteria in the stomach. Because the body has to work so hard to digest fried foods, it can cause unpleasant symptoms such as indigestion, diarrhea, and nausea.

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