IBS and Flatulence: The Whys and Hows for Preventing Gas

Why Should You Avoid Things that Cause Gas?

As an IBS sufferer, your gut is likely more sensitive than normal to pain. Gas acts as a stimulus that can irritate the pain response and ignite the gastrocolic reflex. It also causes bloating and discomfort as it distends the colon.

(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann

When discussing flatulence, you must realize that irritable bowel syndrome itself may cause excess gas in many people. However, you can reduce the amount of flatulence by altering your diet and changing some of your eating habits. Everyone is different. You might digest certain foods easily that cause gas for others.

Foods that Cause the Least Gas

Here is a list of foods that are generally considered the least likely to cause flatulence, along with information about things that you should avoid. You may find that you are able to tolerate some gas-producing foods, but have to steer clear of others that are supposedly safe.

Proteins

• Lean meat, poultry, and fish cooked without fat
• Poached or boiled eggs

Fruits

• Raspberries
• Blackberries
• Pineapples
• Strawberries
• Cooked or canned fruits without the peel
• Peeled, low-fiber fruits like grapes, kiwis, plums, or nectarines

Avoid apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, melons, oranges, peaches, pears, prunes, and raisins.

Dairy

If you are lactose intolerant, switch to an alternative such as soy, almond, or rice milk. Some people are able to control their lactose-induced flatulence by taking lactase enzyme pills.

Vegetables

• Carrots
• Summer squash
• Winter squash

Canned or cooked vegetables and vegetable juices are least likely to cause flatulence. Raw veggies can cause gas and digestion problems.

Avoid artichokes, asparagus, beans (like pinto and navy beans), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, green peppers, kohlrabi, leeks, lentils, onions, peas (especially split peas), radishes, sauerkraut, and turnips.

Grains and Starches

• White rice
• Saltine crackers
• Cheerios
• Rice Krispies
• Cornflakes
• White bread
• English muffins
• Plain bagels
• Mashed potatoes without the skin
• Cooked pasta with light sauce
• Cream of wheat cereal
• Cream of rice cereal

Avoid barley, flax seed, oat bran, and whole wheat.

Desserts

• Angel food cake
• Cakes or cookies without nuts or seeds
• Gelatin desserts

Avoid chocolate. It contains several IBS triggers. Most desserts are made with sugars and carbohydrates, both of which can cause gas.

Miscellaneous Tips

• Do not drink through a straw or slurp as you sip on drinks.

• Eliminate sodas, bubbly water, wine, and beer.

• Eat slowly and chew well.

• Avoid chewing gum.

• Stay away from high-fat foods like gravies, pastries, rich cream sauces, and fatty meats.

• Be aware that some medications can cause gas.

Have you read Kathy's latest books?

The IBS Compass: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tips, Information, Fiber Charts, and Recipes. Steer through theories and advice to find a course that is right for you.

IBS-IBD Fiber Charts: Soluble & Insoluble Fibre Data for over 450 Items, Including Links to Internet Resources. Be informed. Know how much fiber you are consuming, no matter where you are.

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