March 05, 2021 3 min read

What Is IBS? How to Diagnose It? What Are the Foods to Avoid?

What is IBS? IBS or irritable bowel syndrome affects 7-21% of the general population. IBS diet plan is suitable for people suffering from diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas. It includes unprocessed, whole foods providing fibers and vitamins.

What Is IBS?

IBS is a commonly occurring disorder affecting digestion. It mainly interferes with the functions of the large intestine. Common symptoms include bloating, cramping, and change in stool color.

Multi-faceted causes of IBS are food intolerances and stress. Some other factors are microbes in the gut, psychological disturbances and gut-brain interactions. Along with these, a low fiber diet, inflammation, leaky gut, hormonal changes, dehydration, and nutritional deficiencies also lead to IBS.

The general onset of the disease is under the age of 50. There is another variant of this health issue. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is more severe than IBS. Its symptoms include bloody stools and ulceration.

IBS Treatment

The first step towards treating IBS is to diagnose it. The reason is that some of its symptoms mimic other autoimmune condition or allergy. Tests include blood cell count, fecal calprotectin and many others. Steps for diagnosing IBS include:

  1. Onset of symptoms 
  2. Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort 
  3. Bowel movement, change in stool form and frequency

 Stress-relieving activities are beneficial if emotional stress is the significant factor. Lifestyle and dietary changes are also general treatments for IBS. Some of the medicines used to treat IBS include anti-diarrhea, laxatives, fiber supplements, antibiotics, supplements and antidepressants.

 The IBS Diet Plan

IBS Diet Food List:

IBS diet foods include unprocessed and easy to break down ones. Some of them are:

Homemade bone broth  

  • Provides proline and glycine
  • Makeup collagen
  • Repair intestinal permeability

Raw cultured dairy

  • Heal the gut
  • Balance microflora

Lean protein

  • Cater protein deficiency
  • 3–4 ounces of protein per meal

Fresh vegetable juice 

  • Provide critical electrolytes

Steamed vegetables

  • Easy to digest
  • Improves digestion

Healthy fats 

  • Promote healing
  • Good for gut


  • Improves gut 

Moreover, hydration is a crucial step to keep the digestive system healthy. Therefore, the recommended amount of water is eight-ounce of fluids every two hours.

IBS Trigger Foods to Avoid:

Conventional dairy 

  • Hard to digest
  • Worsens digestive symptoms


  • Affects bowel disease
  • Avoid all foods containing wheat, barley and rye 


  • Whole grains have phytic acid and starch
  • Irritate the intestinal lining
  • Cause gut issues

Sugar and refined flour

  • Reduces immune system functioning

Any potential allergen

  • Common ones are gluten, nuts, shellfish and dairy.

Spicy foods

  • Cause heartburn/acid reflux 
  • Worsens IBS symptoms

Gas Causing Foods

  • Worsens gas
  • Avoid carbonated and alcoholic beverages, certain vegetables, cabbage and broccoli.


Low FODMAPs for IBS:

FODMAPs stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.” They are specific types of sugar present in carbohydrate foods. Reducing their consumption relaxes the digestive system as well as eases the symptoms. There are multiple diet plans altogether designed to reduce the intake of these carbohydrates.

Basically, IBS diet depends on symptoms. IBS diet for constipation includes plenty of fibers, along with berries and fried fruit. On the other hand, the IBS diarrhea diet includes hydrating and binding foods.

Complementary IBS Supplements & Essential Oils:

  • Probiotics — Re-colonize the gut with healthy bacteria
  • Digestive Enzymes—Break down foods and facilitate nutrient absorption
  • L-glutamine Powder—Repairs the digestive tract
  • Aloe Vera Juice — acts as a natural laxative 
  • Fish Oil — reduces inflammation in the GI tract
  • Herbal Remedies — Soothe intestinal inflammation
  • Psyllium Husks or Senna Leaf Tea — Treats constipation
  • Chia and Flax Seeds —Relieve constipation
  • Essential Oils — Reduce IBS symptoms and soothe the digestive system


Consult the doctor immediately if you have:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Signs of anemia
  • Digestion problem