3 Tips For Managing Your IBS When You're Going Out


Struggling with IBS is difficult enough on a day to day basis, but during social events or when you’re going out with friends, it can trigger your symptoms even more. Dining out in restaurants is an absolute joy for anyone who doesn’t have to think about their gut issues, but for those suffering from IBS, it can be an absolute nightmare. A menu filled with cheeses, gluten and other options that you know will bloat your stomach instantly. Keep on reading for our tips on how you can manage your IBS symptoms when you’re going out.

Tip 1: Avoid Trigger Foods

Starting off with the most important, and probably most obvious tip if you're eating out with IBS, is avoiding trigger foods. If you have done the low FODMAP diet, you will know what your triggers are. If one of your triggers is cheese or lactose, it can help to give the restaurant a ring beforehand to let them know your dietary restrictions. You’ll be surprised at how flexible some restaurants can be! During a night out, the wrong foods can trigger your symptoms, such as bloating, cramps, diarrhea or constipation, and consequently, your night will be ruined. 

Tip 2: Wear Comfortable Clothes

Our second tip is wearing clothes that are comfortable, stretchy and won’t hurt your stomach if it gets bloated. A tight jeans pressing into your bloated stomach is the last thing you need on a night out. Personally, we prefer clothes that are a bit more baggy or have an elastic waistband. If you’re looking for more tips on IBS friendly clothing, you can read all about it in our blog. No more sucking in, but opt for a comfortable yet cute outfit.

Tip 3: Avoid Alcoholic Drinks

Going out with IBS is a challenge, especially when it comes to consuming alcoholic beverages. As you most likely know, IBS and alcohol are not a great match. Even if you avoid all your triggers on a night out, a few glasses of alcohol can immediately throw a spanner in the works. The bloating begins and soon, your cramps and bloating are out of hand. We’d say it’s probably best to fully avoid alcoholic drinks if you struggle with IBS. Or, alternatively, have 1 or 2 glasses of white wine but know your limit. 

IBS pasta dish

If you’re looking for an IBS friendly drink for when you’re going out, then the options below are probably best for you:

  • beer (if gluten are a trigger for you, you might want to avoid this one too)
  • red or white wine (sugar can be a trigger for some)
  • whiskey
  • vodka
  • gin 

Mixed drinks are always a hit when going out, but at the same time fizzy drinks aren’t great as they can upset your stomach. If you’re sensitive to fizzy drinks, it might be better to mix it with a different kind of juice, such as pineapple juice or orange juice. 

Below, you’ll find a list of alcoholic drinks you’ll definitely want to avoid if you have IBS:

  • cider
  • rum
  • sherry
  • port
  • sweet dessert wine

Don’t Stress, Enjoy!

Finally, all that there is left to say is to enjoy the night and don’t stress about your IBS too much. Since stress can be a major trigger for a lot of people suffering from IBS, it’s best not to worry too much about the night beforehand. Simply enjoy the company of your friends, the amazing low FODMAP food at the restaurant (if you’re lucky) and a glass of wine to end the evening with. Your IBS doesn’t define you - go have some fun!

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