Is it food intolerance?

Bread and wheat

People with IBS are sensitive to food, though very few have a food allergy. 

Most people with IBS have Food Intolerance. 

Food intolerance occurs when your gut is abnormally sensitive and reacts to foods that trigger spasms and distend it with gas or fluid.


So what foods may upset the irritable gut?

  • Wheat
  • Milk
  • Some Fruits  (plums, apricots, peaches, mango, apples, pears)
  • Onions, leeks and garlic.
  • Beetroots,
  • Brassicae (cauliflower, cabbage and sprouts)
  • Pulses (peas, beans and lentils).
  • Cereal husks.
  • Coffee
  • Hot spices (chilli)
  • Fatty cuts of red meat.
  • Fried Food.
  • Ready meals and sauces that are rich in fat.
  • Chocolate, butter and cream.

Click on the images below to gain access to content on specific food intolerances

Fructose Intolerance
Lactose Intolerance

The list of foods is a guideline. Not all of them will upset you. That depends on you and how much you eat (portion size).

Use your symptom tracker to discover which foods tend to cause flare-ups of your IBS, and restrict them from your diet to see if it makes a difference. if you get stuck, ask your GP to refer you to a state registered dietitian, who has undergone FODMAP training.

Although the foods in this section can make pain, bloating and diarrhoea worse, some (e.g. plums, prunes and fiber) may actually relieve constipation.

For more information, look at the BDA IBS Fact Sheet, published by The British Dietetic Association.

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