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What Triggers an IBS Attack?

IBS i.e. irritable bowel syndrome is a problem related to bowel, this disease does not have any permanent cure. The only way to treat this problem is proper management of symptoms, which includes healthy diet, psychological support, proper medication and so on.

What Triggers an IBS Attack?

What Triggers an IBS Attack?

  • Constipation is one of the prime reasons that triggers irritable bowel syndrome, hence, intake of food items that dehydrates the body should be strictly prohibited.
  • Usually foods with excess amount of fat triggers diarrhea but this is a specific symptom that varies with different individuals.
  • Excess anxiety and stress can trigger irritable bowel syndrome to a significant extent.
  • One should be very conscious with the medicines they are taking. This is so because intake of antibiotics, medicines that controls sorbitol and antidepressants can also trigger IBS to a considerable extent.
  • In women who are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, the onset of the symptoms is actually connected with their menses or the menstrual pain.

Other factors that trigger the IBS include:

  • Abnormal eating (especially when in stress)
  • Eating very hot or cold food
  • Lack of exercise

There are a number of ways to control or reduce the severity of irritable bowel syndrome. For instance:

  • Intake of balance and healthy diet
  • Maintaining distance from food that dehydrates body or can cause diarrhea
  • Keep a record of items that can trigger the problem
  • Make sure to ask a medical practitioner before taking any medicine
  • Avoid stress and anxiety
  • It is very important for every individual to know about their own set of things and medicines that triggers IBS.

Stress and Anxiety Can Triggers IBS

Stress and anxiety are two very common factors that triggers irritable bowel syndrome and can lead to recurrent symptoms of the same. Individuals taking excess stress at an early age i.e. before 18 years are more prone to develop this condition. In addition, individuals suffering from IBS can suffer from stress triggering symptoms, like constipation, Mucus defecation, Diarrhea, constant feeling of bowel movements and Abdominal bloating.

Foods that Trigger IBS

As discussed above any food item that causes dehydration in body can trigger IBS. Food item that are known to cause constipation and should be strictly avoided includes:

  • Red Meat
  • Raw banana
  • Drinks having caffeine, alcohol or carbonated drinks can also lead to constipation
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy products like different types of cheese and milk.

Which Foods Trigger Diarrhea in IBS?

There are countless food items that can develop diarrhea in people who are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Food item that majorly contributes in IBS includes the one that contains a lot of fat in form of fatty meats or fatty dairy products and so on. Body of different individuals reacts differently with different food items. Health professionals who treat patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome keep a track of all the items that leads to diarrhea or constipation.

One interesting fact which majority of people do not realize is that some of the food item causes constipation when taken in large quantity because of indigestion. For instance, taking a bite of raw banana will not have any adverse effective on IBS but eating the while banana may trigger the problem.

  • Other food items having high amount of artificial sweeteners, fructose and fried food can contribute in causing diarrhea.
  • Intake of green vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, beans and onions produces gas in the body and also enhances the level of discomfort caused from diarrhea.
  • Not in every individual but intake of probiotics may reduce the symptoms of diarrhea and gas in many individuals suffering from IBS.

What are the Other IBS Triggers?

Things that trigger irritable bowel syndrome vary from individual to individual. Some of the common triggers are: eating food too fast, eating very cold or hot food, inactive routine or lack of exercise, abnormal eating habits and chewing gums. One should keep record activities or item that triggers irritable bowel syndrome. This way one understands their own set of triggering elements. Researchers have also suggested that the only way to prevent irritable bowel syndrome is to stay away from the triggering factors.


  1. Mayo Clinic. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Symptoms & Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes
  3. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. “Triggers for IBS Symptoms.” https://www.iffgd.org/other-disorders/irritable-bowel-syndrome/ibs-triggers.html

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 9, 2023

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