Ask the Experts- April 2024

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: April 15, 2024

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

Since menopause I developed IBS symptoms. I can’t pinpoint why this is happening. Thank you for any information you might provide.


Dear Sharon,

There are many theories why some people get IBS but many of these theories require more research. However, triggers that cause you to have symptoms of IBS are easier to identify.

Here are some triggers:

Some foods contribute to IBS constipation and include, Breads and cereals made with refined (not whole) grains; processed foods such as chips and cookies; coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol; high-protein diets; and dairy products, especially cheese.

Some foods triggers IBS diarrhea and they include: Eating too much fiber, especially the insoluble kind you get in the skin of fruits and vegetables; food and drinks with chocolate; alcohol, caffeine, fructose, or sorbitol; carbonated drinks; eating large meals; fried and fatty foods; dairy products, especially in people who have lactose intolerance; and eating foods with wheat for people who are allergic to or have a bad reaction to gluten.

It is best to talk to your doctor or dietitian about these possible triggers and ways to avoid them by making better choices in your diet.

Also stress and anxiety can trigger IBS. So, learn better ways to calm down with behavioral therapy, relaxation exercises, and getting better support when you need it. And try to always eat a healthy diet; and, get regular exercise and enough sleep.

Lastly, some medications can also trigger IBS. Talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking. Your doctor may be able to switch your medication if it is causing your IBS symptoms to flare up.

So, always be sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns with IBS.