12 Foods to Avoid with IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder marked by oversensitivity of the muscles and nerves of the large intestine. It frequently causes problems such as cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It is different from inflammatory bowel disease and is not related to other digestive disorders.

The cause of IBS is not known. The severity, symptoms, and triggers of the condition also vary with individuals. Certain foods can trigger these symptoms, but there is no master list. Here are 12 foods you might want to limit in your diet as they are likely to cause IBS symptoms to flare up.


Milk and other dairy products may be bad inclusions in the diet of some people with IBS. According to a 2020 study, many people with IBS say that taking milk upsets their stomachs and triggers their symptoms. [1] It is not clear from research, however, whether people with IBS are predisposed to real lactose-intolerance.

Dairy products contain a high amount of fat, which can cause diarrhea in some people with IBS. Although the link between dairy products and IBS is still poorly understood, doctors often recommend lactose-free diets in the initial treatment for people with IBS. You may benefit from switching to dairy products that contain little to no fat.

For some people, most dairy products produce uncomfortable digestive symptoms. If you fall into this group, you may want to switch to dairy alternatives. These include soy-based cheese and plant milk.