IBS & Alcohol: 5 Crucial Facts About Drinking And IBS Symptoms

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Can you drink safely with IBS?

If you suffer from IBS (also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome), then you might have wondered what aspects of your IBS diet trigger your bowel problems.

While plenty food and beverages can cause your IBS to flare up, one of the main culprits is alcohol.

Here's everything you need to know about the connection between IBS and alcohol.

Can Alcohol Cause IBS Symptoms?

Scientific research has shown that consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages can negatively affect the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms of IBS sufferers.

However, plenty of variables can affect the severity of an individual's reaction to alcohol with IBS such as age, gender, weight, and patterns of drinking.

Why Does IBS And Alcohol Lead To Bloating And Nausea?

Although there are plenty of culprits that can result in a flare-up​, alcohol can cause IBS when not consumed in moderation.

This is because alcohol is a toxin which can irritate your gut and trigger bowel problems including gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.

What Are The Worst Alcoholic Drinks For IBS Sufferers?

While most people can safely indulge in a cocktail here and there, IBS sufferers should avoid certain types of alcohol and mixed drinks:

  • Anything mixed with soda or other carbonated beverages (gin and tonic, rum and coke, etc.)
  • Anything containing high fructose corn syrup (cider, piña colada, dessert wine, etc.)
  • Diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners (sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, etc.)

What Are The Best Alcoholic Drinks For IBS Sufferers?

If you want to enjoy a cocktail without a flare-up, consider the following safer IBS alcoholic options:

  • Dry wines (cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, etc.)
  • Distilled spirits (vodka, gin, whiskey, etc.)
  • Beer (pale ale, stout, lager, etc.)

How Should You Treat IBS After Drinking Too Much Alcohol?

Limiting your intake of alcohol is the best way to avoid having bowel problems. Roughly one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men is a moderate and safe amount for many IBS sufferers.However, if you're regularly noticing severe symptoms of IBS after drinking alcohol, you may need to cut alcohol out of your diet completely.

Many people have also found relief from their IBS symptoms by drinking apple cider vinegar. However, ACV alone should not replace IBS medication if you are being treated by a medical professional.

At the end of the day, you need to listen to your body carefully and eliminate any food or beverages from your IBS diet that trigger your irritable bowel syndrome.