Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Triggers and Prevention

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) triggers and prevention introduction

By taking steps to prevent the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is possible to lead a productive, healthy life. With some planning, you can avoid IBS triggers that cause symptom flares. Your doctor can provide a complete treatment plan for IBS prevention.

Print out this list of common IBS triggers and prevention strategies. Keep it handy for reference. It may help you identify your personal triggers in your IBS symptom journal. Triggers and symptoms may vary depending on your type of IBS. And when you're having a bad day, remember to persist with healthy management of your condition.

"Realize that it's not always smooth sailing. That's a part of IBS," says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association Guide to Better Digestion. "You can't beat yourself up."

1. Diet Triggers for IBS Constipation

Some foods can worsen IBS-related constipation. These include:

Prevention Strategies:

  • Gradually boost fiber intake by two to three grams per day until you're eating 20 to 35 grams per day. Good sources of fiber include whole grain bread and cereals, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Consume a moderate amount of foods higher in sorbitol, such as dried plums and prune juice.

  • Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of plain water a day.

  • Try ground flaxseed. It can be sprinkled on salads and cooked vegetables.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Constipation Question: If you have IBS-related constipation, what are the triggers? What dietary changes have you made?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Diarrhea Question: Do you get IBS-related diarrhea? Discuss the triggers and dietary changes you have made.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Stress and Anxiety Question: Does stress or anxiety trigger your IBS? What changes have you made to alleviate these triggers?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Other Triggers Question: Discuss the things that trigger symptoms of IBS and ways you try to prevent recurrences.

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