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Foods To Avoid With IBS: Part I

Treatment for IBS, naturally

Individuals with IBS can prevent symptoms from occurring by avoiding the consumption of certain foods.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that’s digestive condition characterized by chronic stomach pain, bloating, irregular bowel movements, diarrhea and/or constipation. It’s estimated that upwards of 15% of the United States population suffers from IBS, many of whom do not even realize it. While there’s no known cure for IBS, individuals can prevent symptoms from occurring by avoiding the consumption of certain foods.

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#1 Foods to avoid for IBS: Brussels Sprouts

Although they are loaded in beneficial nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and fiber, Brussels sprouts should be avoided by people with IBS. This fun-sized vegetable can worsen the symptoms of IBS by promoting excess gas and abdominal pain. While each and every case of IBS is unique, most people report adverse symptoms after consuming Brussels sprouts.

#2 Foods to avoid for IBS: Broccoli

Another food that you should avoid is broccoli. This crunchy, stalky vegetable is high in fiber and it promotes gas – two elements that can worsen IBS symptoms. It’s important to note, however, that cooking broccoli may eliminate some or all of its negative effects. So if raw, uncooked broccoli triggers a bout of IBS, try steaming or sautéing it. Doing so may allow you to reap the nutritional benefits of this vegetable without irritating your digestive system.

The truth is that any high-fiber vegetable may cause digestive issues in people with IBS, so don’t assume that broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the only culprits.

#3 Foods to avoid for IBS: Milk

You may want to think twice before eating a milk-filled bowl of cereal for breakfast in the morning, as it can worsen IBS symptoms. Normally, the small intestines do a pretty good job at breaking down lactose. If there’s no enough enzymes to perform this operation, however, some of it will travel to the large intestines where the it’s fermented. Not only will this cause gas, but it can also cause bloating, cramps, spasms and diarrhea.

#4 Foods to avoid for IBS: Beans

It should come as no surprise that beans is on our list of foods for IBS sufferers to avoid. Beans (legumes) contain a special type of sugar known as oligosaccharide, which the body is unable to break down. Since they aren’t broken down in the same manner as other sugars, oligosaccharides pass through the small and large intestines, at which point bacteria converts them to gas.


This is just a list of some general categories of foods that have been shown to aggravate IBS and cause gas. There may also be a food allergy or sensitivity component that is also contributing to your symptoms. Get started on your road to having healthy digestion and break-free from IBS by watching Dr. Ellie’s online course: Fast Track to Healthy Digestion available on-demand on our online courses site.

As always, if you would like to schedule an appointment, give Dr. Heintze a call today at (425) 686-4498, to learn how you can get on track to better health.


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