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Foods to Avoid for IBS with Constipation

author image Jamie Simpson
Jamie Simpson is a researcher and journalist based in Indianapolis with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. She earned her B.S. in animal science from Purdue University and her Master of Public Affairs in public management from Indiana University. Simpson also works as a massage therapist and equine sports massage therapist.
Foods to Avoid for IBS with Constipation
Broccoli is a gas-causing food that should be avoided if you experience constipation. Photo Credit: Flashromance/iStock/Getty Images

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is one of the most common digestive problems in America, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Managing the symptoms of IBS is a critical concern for the 7 to 20 percent of Americans who have IBS. One symptom -- constipation -- may be helped by avoiding certain foods. Exploring those foods with a health care professional can lead to a diet for smoother digestion.

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Foods that Cause Gas

One of the issues of IBS with constipation is the painful feeling of fullness, so avoid foods that cause gas. Gas can cause further bloating and swelling in the intestine with no means to relieve pressure until constipation is remedied. The top gas-causing foods to avoid include beans, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

Food Allergens

Another set of foods to avoid if you have IBS with constipation is known food allergens. Examples of these foods include dairy products, refined grains and artificially sweetened foods. These foods can exacerbate the sensitivity and inflammation of the gut rather than promoting a smooth and regular digestive process. If you are not sure that you have food sensitivities, keep a food diary of all foods eaten and your symptoms to pinpoint your own allergic reactions or problem foods.

Caffeinated Beverages

Another category of foods to avoid for IBS with constipation is caffeinated foods and beverages. This includes colas, coffee, tea and drinks made with added caffeine, such as energy drinks, as well as gums or other snack foods that have caffeine added. These foods irritate the gut and prevent smooth and healthy contraction patterns. Replace these beverages with multiple glasses of water daily and high-fiber foods to promote regular evacuation of the gut.

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