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Being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome can often feel like a dietary death sentence. After all, it’s a common misconception that for those with IBS, any and all food will cause discomfort and pain. Although it is true that IBS means changes to your diet, you won’t be living off of cabbage alone. Eating to minimize your symptoms is as simple as avoiding problem foods that are known to cause symptoms. That is half the battle, though – figuring out which foods make your IBS worse.

So we made this list of foods to avoid, for those with IBS will be really useful.

IBS Irritators

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, it contains many of the worst offenders that can trigger outbreaks of symptoms. Where possible, you’ll do well to avoid:

  1. Refined grains: If you are a cereal lover, try to avoid cereals that depend on refined grains. The refining process removes much of the fiber from the grain, which can worsen constipation caused by IBS. If you enjoy a bowl of cereal in the mornings, try opting for a whole-grain cereal instead.
  2. Processed foods: You knew this was coming, but it can be difficult. Most processed foods should be eliminated from your diet if you want to minimize IBS symptoms. This includes all the “goodies” like chips, cookies, and cakes. All these foods can cause terrible constipation, especially if you consume all these things during the course of a single day.
  3. Soft drinks: From beer to soda to sparkling water, you’ll find that carbonated beverages are one of IBS’s biggest irritants. Even for people without IBS, carbonated drinks can be difficult for the digestive system. If you avoid one thing to control your IBS, make it soda.
  4. Dairy: Everything related to dairy products, especially cheese, will encourage symptoms of IBS. This is one of the reasons why Irritable Bowel Syndrome is often (incorrectly) self-diagnosed as lactose intolerance. Limit your consumption of dairy products in all its forms, cheese being the most important to avoid.
  5. Excessive Protein: You may need to cut back on the shrimp or chicken, sad as it is. Consuming an excessive amount of protein can cause constipation and outbreaks of other IBS symptoms. All things in moderation; You can still enjoy the occasional steak, but don’t go ordering a 20oz one.

What if I don’t want to avoid them?

If there is something on this list that you absolutely cannot live without, that is understandable, and what is important to remember is that it is not a strict no-no list. You can always have ingredients on this list if you really want to, but you may have to deal with an outbreak of symptoms to match. Whenever possible, try to limit your intake of these foods and also be sure to limit your portion sizes. This way, you can enjoy all the flavor and taste, with very few nasty symptoms.