Stomach bloating: IBS and the foods to avoid to reduce bloating

Bloating is a common symptom in IBS, particularly for woman. It has been described as unsightly, annoying and sometimes even painful. People with IBS often complain of bloating and it is especially worse in the evenings. IBS can be tricky to diagnose as there are many symptoms similar to other conditions. IBS affects the large intestine known as the colon. When you have consumed foods that flare up the condition or when you are under a lot of stress, the process of digestion becomes slower.

IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system. It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation


As the food moves through the digestive system, the process may slow down food as it moves and this leads to cramping, gas or other stomach problems.

The NHS said: “IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system. It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

“The bloating of IBS doesn’t seem to be linked with excess wind. It’s thought to be down to erratic propulsion of contents though the bowel.”

Dr Simon Smale Consultant Gastroenterologist and representative of The IBS Network said: “IBS significantly affects quality of life and sufferers can become isolated from friends, family, colleagues and even their partners as a result of IBS flare-ups.

“IBS symptoms such as unpredictable bowel movements may mean they constantly need to be within reach of a toilet.

“Added to this, is pain from abdominal cramps and distress caused by bloating. For many sufferers, it can also lead to anxiety and depression.”

Foods that trigger bloating:

  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Sprouts

A general rule to remember is to try and avoid foods that are gassy, greasy and spicy. Fizzy drinks and certain dairy products have also been proven to flare up IBS and bloating.

People with IBS may be more sensitive to emotional troubles and stress. This could lead to a person having spasms in their colon and IBS may be triggered by the immune system which is affected by stress.

Stress management is vital to relieve the symptoms of IBS and bloating and options such as meditation, yoga and lowering caffeine intake are all ways to help reduce stress.

Eating smaller meals more often, reducing your fibre consumption and exercising are ways to help with the treatment of IBS and bloating.

If your symptoms of IBS and bloating are getting worse it is important to speak with your GP about possible medications to help reduce the bloating from IBS.

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