Irritable Bowel Syndrome: 5 Surprising Triggers Behind This Condition

Want a healthy gut and keep your IBS symptoms at bay? Stay away from the triggers. © Shutterstock

There are multiple theories about the culprits behind Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Here is a low-down on the triggers you aren't aware of.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gut condition that affects millions across the world. Evidences suggest that people are likely to suffer from this condition between their teens and their 40s. Women are more susceptible to Irritable Bowel Syndrome than men. IBS is a condition characterised by a combination of physical manifestations: Pain or discomfort in the belly, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea (one can suffer from both alternately), inconsistency in the type of poop (thin, hard, or soft and liquid). Though not life-threatening, IBS can take a toll on your functionality and bring down your quality of life.


There are innumerable theories about the culprits behind Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While one school of thought suggests it is the result of an oversensitive gut, another theory points out that chemicals like serotonin and gastrin may be associated with IBS. Research also hints at the possibility of certain bacteria playing the culprit. However, experts in the field are yet to arrive at a definite conclusion. Here, we guide you through some sneaky things which may contribute to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Your cup of coffee

Coffee is one of the 10 most common culprits that trigger an IBS episode, observes a study published in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. Reason? Caffeine. Overconsumption of coffee may lead to indigestion and cramping. So, it's best to limit your daily caffeine intake. Look for healthier stimulants if you need.

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Your long-term depression

This is a vicious cycle. Depression triggers the symptoms of IBS and people living with this gut condition experience bouts of this mental health challenge. Take professional help to beat depression.

Sugary foods

Sugar, we all know, isn't good for our health. But it sneaks into your diet through multiple routes. While the most common culprits are processed foods and sugary drinks, some healthy fruits and vegetables harbour a lot of sugar. While you shouldn't ban the healthy foods if you're suffering from IBS, be choosy about them and exercise portion control.


Sorry to disappoint you. Onions, a crucial flavour for most your dishes, can be a trigger behind your IBS symptoms, thanks to a short-chain carbohydrate that it contains. Look for other alternatives for flavouring, that are low in this carbohydrate.

Sedentary lifestyle

It has been found that lack of exercise can enhance chronic stomach ache, one of the prominent features of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. A research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that study participants who were involved in 20-60 minutes of physical activity for three to five times a week experienced lesser symptoms of IBS.

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