Triggers For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

For reasons that still aren’t clear, if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) you probably react strongly to stimuli that don’t bother other people.

A trigger is something that can cause the symptoms for a condition to worsen.

The possible triggers for IBS include:

  • Food
  • Stress, Emotion, and Immune System
  • Other Illnesses: researchers have reported that IBS may be caused by various bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies show that people who have had gastroenteritis sometimes go on to develop IBS
  • Gas or pressure on your intestines


Many people find that their Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms become worse when they eat certain types of foods.

In fact, some people are so sensitive to a range of foods that they must eat virtually the same foods, in the same proportions, at the same times each day or suffer the consequences.

The following foods can trigger or worsen the symptoms of IBS:

    • alcohol
    • chocolate
    • dairy / milk products
    • drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, or colas
    • wheat, rye, barley or other foods containing gluten

Surveys of IBS sufferers regularly find that almost two thirds believe that a dietary allergy or intolerance was at least partly to blame for their IBS symptoms.

The role of food allergy or intolerance in irritable bowel syndrome hasn’t been well researched. Indeed, it is a difficult subject to research. The same food may have different effects on different people, and there can also be delayed reactions or variations in effect caused by the combinations of food eaten.

Some researchers suspect that food may not be a trigger for IBS at all. Instead, they suspect that the actual process of eating may be the trigger because chewing stimulates the colon.

If you experience cramping and bloating mainly after eating dairy products, caffeine drinks, or sugar-free gum or candies, then the problem may not be Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Instead, your body be intolerant to the sugar (lactose) in dairy products, or to caffeine or artificial sweeteners. Reduce or eliminate these items from your diet and see if they relieve the symptoms.