Welcome to the second part of this IBS series! In this post, we’re going to uncover the food triggers behind your chronic digestive issues. Trust me, if you want to heal your gut, figuring out your food triggers is the best way to get to the bottom of what’s causing issues with your gut health in the first place.
If you missed the first post in this series, check it out here:
Now let’s get into the post…
FOOD TRIGGERS FOR IBS-C
In order to know how to treat your IBS, you have to know your triggers. That’s right, it’s not enough to add things to your diet and lifestyle (like prunes, fiber, water and regular exercise)… you have to take out the things that trigger your IBS symptoms. I find food allergies and sensitivities are the most common types of issues for IBS symptoms, even if you think you don’t have any.
I was a girl who had dairy every day, multiple times a day. The thought of taking dairy out of my diet left me confused as to what the heck I would even eat! I had milk in my coffee, milk with cereal, cream cheese on my bagels, cheese in my eggs, yogurt with fruit, and of course my favorite – ice cream for dessert.
Since I had dairy so often, it never occurred to me that my love for dairy could be irritating my digestive system.
It’s easy to associate an allergy to dairy with lactose intolerance, but that’s not always the case. While lactose intolerance is a common and undeniable allergy to the lactose sugar found in milk, you can also have an inflammatory reaction to dairy that does not lead to the same side effects as lactose intolerance.
I gave up 90% of the dairy in my diet – and I haven’t looked back.
I decided that it was worth a shot to remove dairy after taking a closer look at my past. I connected the dots that I was irritated by cow’s milk as a baby, which made me think that it would make sense that I’m intolerant to dairy now. My mom actually had to try lots of different dairy and non-dairy sources in order to figure out what was best for my digestion as an infant. Knowing what I know now about intolerances, this makes a whole lot of sense that dairy was always a problem, but I just didn’t realize it.
Even if you don’t have a history of dairy issues like I do – experiment with removing dairy from your diet. Unfortunately yes, that does mean no cheese 🙁 The only dairy I seem to do fine with is butter and heavy cream. The fat in dairy is usually the least problematic, while casein (what cheese is made of) and lactose (mostly milk) can be the toughest on your digestion.
Like what happens with many hidden allergies, it wasn’t until after I added the dairy back in that I realized I had an allergy all along.
So be sure to do your experimenting – and go without it for at least an entire week. You might not notice the allergy until you add dairy back in. Either way, I assure you that the short time it takes to experiment is absolutely worth it for the relief you get from removing a food trigger that causes your IBS symptoms.
I want this to be easy for you 🙂 So, I created the Gut Health and IBS Protocol Workbook that’ll help you experiment with intolerances and figure out what works best for you. Grab it right here:
Just like milk, I was eating wheat every. single. day. It was in my cereal, bread, pasta, pizza, cookies, and pretty much every delicious food you can think of. It’s practically impossible to find meals today without wheat as an ingredient. If you take a close look, even your soups are thickened with flour and your salads are covered with croutons or served with bread. Most of the time, your meal is coming with wheat whether you know it or not.
You don’t have to have Celiac Disease to have an allergy to gluten.
The trouble with gluten is that it causes an inflammatory reaction in your gut, no matter if you see the signs or not. That means, while I don’t show the classic signs of Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance, I can still have trouble digesting it. While there are still people on the fence about this idea, trust your body. If you feel better without it, avoid gluten and all wheat products.
I noticed sugar most often comes with foods like dairy and wheat. The issue for me is not only the sugar, even though sugar is, of course, highly inflammatory and very troublesome for our entire body on its own. I notice I’m at my worst after a delicious Italian pastry filled with cream. When I indulge in foods like pastries, I’m also usually exposed to gluten, dairy, and sugar, even though I do my best to avoid them. I notice a burning sensation in my stomach while trying to sleep, followed by a day or two of constipation and bloating.
4. Other Foods
Grains and beans cause some other common food allergies, but you may also be reactive to soy, corn, eggs, peanuts, nuts, seeds, FODMAPS, histamines, caffeine and other foods depending on your health. People with high inflammation (like people with arthritis, Lymes disease, autoimmune diseases, and alike) should especially consider experimenting with removing high-allergen foods from their diet to see if symptoms subside.
The lesson is that you need to be YOUR own detective, and start paying close attention to the food triggers that bring on your IBS symptoms.
Personally, I avoid all grains except for varieties of white rice, organic corn, quinoa, and occasionally buckwheat. I also steer clear of beans and soy. If I eat too many servings of nuts and seeds I also see an upset in my digestion. That means most of the time I’m centering my meals around lots of vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality sources of protein.
TAKEAWAY: YOU CAN EASILY REMOVE YOUR FOOD TRIGGERS
If you’re wondering how the heck you’re going to get rid of your IBS food triggers and change your diet, don’t worry – I got your back! My Gut Health and IBS Protocol Workbook is all about learning how to eat that works for YOU. It makes it easy to figure out the foods irritating your body so you can start healing your gut ASAP.
Check out the next posts in this series: