12 Hidden Culprits:

Common Triggers of IBS You May Not Know About

FODMAPs are carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) that can be rapidly fermented by your gut bacteria, which can lead to pain and bloating, as well as diarrhea, and constipation.


Moving through the 3 phases of the low FODMAP diet is the best way to find out if FODMAPs are IBS symptom triggers for you. If you are FODMAP sensitive, the diet is highly effective at alleviating IBS symptoms.


High FODMAP Foods

The initial Elimination Phase of the diet is the most restrictive, where you will be curtailing your ingestion of FODMAPs.


Hormones can make IBS symptoms feel worse. Some hormonal triggers include:       - puberty       - menstrual cycle      - PCOS      - birth control pills      - pregnancy     - menopause


Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and is a possible trigger for IBS symptoms. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), or wheat intolerance, can produce gastrointestinal symptoms.



Caffeine is a gut irritant and can trigger IBS symptoms; on the other hand, it can also help bring on a bowel movement which, if you are constipated, can be helpful.


Alcohol is also a gut irritant. When we say drink with moderation we mean from a possible impairment perspective, as well as from a digestive one! Know your tolerances.

Fatty Meals

Fatty foods can lead to digestive upset. Especially when eaten in quantity.  If your IBS is flaring up after a fatty meal, it could be the fat.


Spicy Foods

Chiles contain capsaicin, which is a known gut irritant. If the tiniest sprinkle of cayenne, drizzle of hot sauce, or jalapeno garnish send you into IBS agony, you might want to hold back on the spicy additions.



Fiber is important for our overall gut health. But IBS symptoms can be triggered by too much fiber or not enough, and other times, it's because you are eating the wrong kind of fiber for you.


Staying hydrated can aid in alleviation of constipation – and its accompanying gut discomfort.

Eating Patterns

There are many kinds of eating patterns. Do you skip meals? Or maybe you graze all day long? Any of these eating patterns can trigger IBS symptoms. Those of us suffering with IBS do best with consistent meal patterns.

Stress & Anxiety

Stress can stimulate symptom flare-ups in IBS; bouts of IBS are stressful. This can become a vicious cycle. When you feel anxious, it increases your sensitivity to IBS symptoms, including pain, gas and diarrhea.

IBS affects 10 to 15% of the world’s population – and is believed to be under-diagnosed. While there is no cure for the disorder, we do know what can exacerbate IBS symptoms, and also what can be done to calm our digestive system.

The low FODMAP diet is a medically directed, clinically proven diet that has been shown to alleviate symptoms in up to 75% of those suffering with IBS. Knowing your triggers can help temper your IBS flares. Working with a Registered Dietitian is the surest way to symptom-free health.

For more info on the Low FODMAP diet as well as hundreds of Low FODMAP recipes, visit us at