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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Triggers (cont.)

Medication Triggers for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Patient Comments

Medications that contain sorbitol worsen symptoms (for example cough medications containing sorbitol).

Some antidepressants can worsen symptoms.

Constipation may be worsened by tricyclic antidepressants, for example:

Diarrhea may be worsened by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressants, for example:

IBS Triggers: Others

Patient Comments
  • Eating while doing other activities because it can cause you to eat too quickly; not chew thoroughly; or to swallow excessive air, which can lead to worsening IBS symptoms.
  • Exercise helps prevent constipation and lack of exercise can worsen constipation.


Barrett, J. et al. "Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) and nonallergic food intolerance: FODMAPs or food chemicals?" Therap Adv Gastroenterol. Jul 2012; 5(4): 261–268.

Johannesson, E., "Physical activity improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial." American Journal of Gastroenterology 2011 106:915-922.

Magge, S. et al. "Low-FODMAP Diet for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). Nov 2012; 8(11): 739–745.

Muir, J. et al. "The Low FODMAP Diet for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Other Gastrointestinal Disorders." Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). Jul 2013; 9(7): 450–452.

Wald, A. MD. "Patient education: Irritable bowel syndrome (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. Updated: Aug 12, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/23/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about IBS Triggers (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Triggers and Prevention):

IBS Triggers and Prevention - Diarrhea and Constipation

What foods trigger diarrhea or constipation with IBS, and what foods do you avoid to prevent IBS triggers?

IBS Triggers and Prevention - Stress and Anxiety

Do stress or anxiety trigger IBS symptoms for you? If so, what do you to decrease your stress or anxiety?

IBS Triggers and Prevention - Drugs

What medications (OTC or prescription) trigger IBS symptoms for you, and what medications do you avoid to prevent IBS triggers?

IBS Triggers and Prevention - Experience

Please share your experience with foods or other things that trigger your IBS and creates flares.

IBS Triggers and Prevention - Other

What triggers worsen your IBS symptoms?

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