Common Mistakes in Keeping a Food Diary: IBS

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Is there a link between what you have eaten and your IBS (irritable bowel symdrome)?

Many people find that remembering what they eat and then associating it with gut symptoms can be difficult especially when you look back over your week. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what you had for lunch yesterday, let alone a week ago!

A great tip to get a better understanding of your symptoms is by keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat.

IF you BITE it, then WRITE IT!

Food Diary Mistakes
Food Diary Mistakes

You can then review the pages and track any connection between certain foods and your IBS symptoms acting up. Then you might be able to eliminate some of those symptom triggers with the help of a qualified nutrition professional with experience in this approach.

Tips from

IBS Food Diary: How to Get Started

Record everything that you put into your mouth, along with a description of how you felt afterward. Whenever you experience IBS symptoms, write down details of how you feel.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Meals.

Write down a detailed description of everything you ate, including specific ingredients.

TIP: All the details count and be specific

ASK: What else was in that food eg: Dressings, sauces, did you add pickles? was it wholegrain or white bread? How was the food cooked eg baked or fried?

2. Portion size.

Did you eat a large meal or a small meal? People who eat small, light meals may be less likely to have an attack of IBS symptoms. Track how you feel after eating to see if there is a connection between your symptoms and how large and heavy your meal was.

3. Snacks.

If you sneak a piece of chocolate, a muesli bar, or a handful of chips, record it. Even the little things can have a big reaction in your gut. When we are not mindfully eating it is amazing how many extras we simply forget about.

4. Drinks.

Alcohol and caffeine are common irritants to the digestive tract, so write down everything you drink. Carbonated beverages are also known to cause gas.

5. Chewing gum, Sweets, cigarettes.

You may not even think of these items as food, but they can have an impact on your stomach. Sorbitol, found in sugar-free gum and sugar free drinks can cause gas and other gastrointestinal problems. You never know what can irritate your gut, so take note and make comparisons.

6. Symptoms.

Every time your gut gives you concern, write it down. Note what you were doing, what time it happened, what the symptoms were, and how long it had been since you ate or drank anything.

After you’ve recorded your food and IBS symptoms together, review your notes carefully to see if you can find a pattern that might give you a clue as to what triggers your IBS symptoms

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