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Holiday Eating With IBS

A collection of holiday tips for people with irritable bowel syndrome.


Updated January 27, 2014

Here are some guidelines that may help keep your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms at bay this holiday season:

  1. Eat several small meals a day instead of three large ones.
  2. Keep meals low in fat, and high in carbohydrates.
  3. Some common food triggers include:
    • Alcohol
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Coffee
    • Dairy
    • Egg Yolks
    • Fried foods
    • Oils
    • Red meat
    • Shortening
  4. Bananas, beans, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, and onions may all cause gas.
  5. Soluble fiber may help with symptoms. Some sources of soluble fiber include:
    • Brown rice
    • Oatmeal
    • Pasta
    • Psyllium husks (Metamucil)
    • Raisins
    • Sourdough bread
    • Soy
  6. Some people have food sensitivities to these foods:
    • Sorbitol (a sugar substitute)
    • Fructose (found in fruit juice and dried fruit)
    • Lactose (found in milk)
    • Wheat bran
  7. Acidophilus helps maintain the “good” bacteria in the gut, and is found in yogurt that contains live cultures.

With some preparation, you can spend your holidays with family and friends, and not in the bathroom. In addition to eating properly, keep these other tips in mind:

  1. Get plenty of rest.
  2. Keep following your doctor's instructions.
  3. Take your medication on time.
  4. Practice the stress-relief methods that work for you.
  5. Take “time out” when you need it.
Part 2 of this article contains IBS-friendly recipes that you can prepare for yourself or share at your holiday festivities.

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