Espedilla: Foods to avoid and take for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Part 1)

DEAR Dr. Fritz,

Cheers to you and Good day!

Please call me Meccah F. I wrote you because I have read your article about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which unfortunately had hit me, too!) about many months ago. In a motion to that, I wanted to know the particular food that I should avoid and what I can eat. This IBS is really getting into my nerves. I know that despite of the medicines I am taking, I should eat right. So, please, please help me.
Thank you and God bless you always!

Meccah F.


Dear Meccah F.,

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS for short is a long-standing problem that keeps on coming back and thus, this needs to be treated. I understand that this will really creep to your nerves, as there is no cure for IBS currently. Your symptoms can only be relieved by medications, like antispamodics, as well as changing your lifestyle such as regular exercise, avoiding trigger foods and eating right.

Since this is really a long haul, you need a lot of patience and tons of commitment to discipline. Otherwise, in the end, it is only you who will take the blame and nothing less!

Yes, the right diet can help you. But, remember this is not everything. Diet is just one of the many factors that can cause IBS, but, the right one can help you keep the symptoms under your reins. This means, that you still have to adhere with the medications and regular exercise to keep you on your toes always in the fight against IBS.

For the foods that you have to avoid, the acronym is FODMAPs – meaning, Fermentable Oligo-, Di-Monosaccharides And Polyols. These are the types of foods that can increase the fluid and the gas in the intestines and therefore, can worsen your symptoms of IBS. So, you should keep these foods low in your diet. So, here they are:

1. Excess Fructose

a. Sweeteners
- Fructose, high fructose, corn syrup

b. Large fructose total dose
- Concentrated fruit sources, large serves of fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice

c. Honey
- Corn syrup

d. Fruit

- 100 percent spelt bread

6. Rice

7. Oats

8. Other
- Psyllium, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca

9. Milk products
- Lactose-free milk, soy milk (in small quantities)

10. Cheeses
- Hard cheeses

11. Yoghurt
- Lactose-free variety

12. Ice cream substitute
- Gelato, sorbet

13. Butter substitute
- Olive oil

14. Tofu sweeteners
- Sugar (sucrose) – in small quantities, glucose, artificial sweeteners not ending in “ol”

15. Honey substitute
- Maple syrup (in small quantities), molasses.

Well, as there are still a lot in the list of the foods that unfortunately, you cannot enjoy and we are losing space here for now, let me talk about this more in my next column. Until then!

By the way, special thanks to the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology and A.

Menarini Philippines, Incorporated for the list of the foods enumerated in here for IBS.

Well, I hope that helps. Good luck!

Dr. Fritz

(Dr. Fritz Legarde Espedilla is an aesthetic dermatologist and surgeon and a clinical sexologist. She is also trained in hypnotherapy and Medical Acupuncture. She has been in the broadcast media for more than a decade and has written a book based on her 15 year stint with her radio program, “Healthy is Sexy Secrets ni Dr. Fritz.” She is also a faculty in a College of Pharmacy. For your questions, you may send them to Dear Dr. Fritz, c/o Sunstar-Davao Publishing Inc., Ebro-Pelayo Building, Jacinto St., Davao City, (former Department of Foreign Affairs office), across Ateneo de Davao University and beside Holy Child School of Davao, or you e-mail them to If you don’t wish your letter to be published, we regret that we cannot answer them. Thank you for your understanding.)
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