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The Best Foods to Fight IBS Symptoms

Find out the 3 biggest triggers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms, as well as which foods can help you manage these painful and embarrassing symptoms.

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Symptoms of IBS

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhea and/or constipation

Secondary symptoms such as sleep loss due to pain are also common. Symptoms may become severe, limiting your ability to function normally throughout your day.

3 Common Triggers for IBS Symptoms

If you are suffering from IBS, you already know that diet is a significant factor in the worsening of symptoms. However, there are two other big triggers.

Here are the 3 common triggers for IBS symptoms:

  1. Hormones (PMS especially)
  2. Stress
  3. Diet

Foods that Worsen Your IBS Symptoms

Studies are beginning to focus in on what foods may hurt and/or help you in the fight against IBS symptoms. High carb diets, especially those high in processed foods, have been shown to exacerbate inflammation in your gut. Consumption of sugars, such as lactose and fructose and other carbohydrates can increase abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. Diets that are high in fats, especially trans fats and saturated fats, also irritate your bowel and are difficult to digest. Eating too much or too little dietary fiber can also cause difficulties if you suffer from IBS.

Protein Can Help You Fight IBS Symptoms

High-protein diets have been shown to decrease the symptoms of IBS. Studies have shown that the combination of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri), along with tryptophan, trigger an increase in the growth of immune cells that reduce inflammation in your gut. This reduction of inflammation in your gut also significantly reduces your symptoms of IBS by improving tolerance for many foods. If you are suffering with IBS, this may provide relief from symptoms.

Healthy Foods High in Protein

Protein-rich foods such as:

    • Nuts
    • Eggs
    • Beans
    • Poultry (chicken or turkey) and
    • Dairy is excellent for reducing your symptoms of IBS.

Turkey is also particularly high in tryptophan, making it a great choice for reducing inflammation in your gut. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fat diet with a healthy amount of dietary fiber will help to significantly reduce your IBS symptoms.

Group, E., Dr. (2015). 10 Foods that won’t upset IBS. Global Healing Center. Retrieved on 8/7/17 from

Lin YP, Thibodeaux CH, Peña JA, Ferry GD, Versalovic J. (2008). Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri suppress proinflammatory cytokines via c-Jun. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 14(8): 1068-1083. Retrieved on 8/7/17 from

Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on 8/7/17 from

NIH. (n.d.). Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. National Institute of Diabetic and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved on 8/7/17 from

Washington University School of Medicine. (2017). Protein-rich diet may help soothe inflamed gut: Mice fed tryptophan develop immune cells that foster a tolerant gut. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 7, 2017 from

Hayes, P.A.; Fraher, M.H.; Quigley, E.M.M. (2014). Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Role of Food in Pathogenesis and Management. Gastroenterol Hepatol. 10(3): 164-174. Retrieved on 8/7/17 from

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