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April 3, 2009 at 1:26 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Connection Between Alcohol and IBS

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

People with IBS know that there are certain foods they can eat and certain ones which must be avoided. The key to living with IBS is to prevent flare-ups as much as possible, which is why it's important to really examine the foods you consume and determine which ones may affect your IBS.

What Are Your Triggers?

The first step to ease symptoms of IBS is to determine what may trigger an onset of symptoms. Different people have different triggers, and it may take some time to determine exactly what foods are your triggers. Begin by restricting the diet; limit the types of foods you eat and omit everything you think may be a trigger. Slowly reintroduce foods one at a time to see if they affect your IBS. A less picky way of doing this is simply to focus on what you eat. Maybe burritos aren't a good choice; is it the beans, salsa, sour cream, or sauce causing your issue? Perhaps it's all four?

Common Triggers of IBS Symptoms

Most people find there are many foods that trigger their IBS. Spicy foods, fatty foods, dairy, wheat, and sugary foods are common irritants. Caffeine, alcohol, and sodas also trigger symptoms. Certain lifestyle habits may ease or cause symptoms, such as over-eating, exercise, and certain medications.

Alcohol and IBS

Alcohol may not be a trigger for your IBS symptoms. However, studies show that's unlikely, as alcohol can irritate anyone's system and is especially irritating for those with IBS. Maybe you'll find certain alcoholic beverages are gentler on your system than others. For instance, most people with IBS report that beer and liquor are much more irritating than wine, and red wine is worse than white.


In any case, everyone should consume alcohol in moderation. If you have IBS, try to drink a glass of water with or in between every alcoholic drink. This way you'll prevent dehydration. Eaten with a fiber-rich meal, alcohol may not have much effect on your IBS. Avoid consuming alcohol with other trigger foods like spicy or fatty items.

Behavior Modification

If you like to drink, consider why you do. Many people with IBS are more likely to be prone to emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety due to the lack of control they may feel over their IBS. Stress can provoke symptoms of anxiety or depression. Since stress, depression, and alcoholism are all linked, those with IBS are prone to all three. Be sure that when you address the cause of your IBS that you develop good strategies for managing your symptoms.

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