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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

IBS caused by Fruit

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Old 08-17-2006, 08:04 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Karen1981 HB User
Question IBS caused by Fruit

I have had IBS for a number of years now and have established that it is caused when I eat fruit (which is a huge relief to find out the problem). I have laid off the fruit now for a few months and feel much better, however I would still like to maintain a healthy diet and am really missing the fruit in my diet. I'm finding that it's hard to try and find foods similar to fruit which fill you up but have little fat and callories. Does anyone get IBS due to fruit and if so what foods do you eat to compensate for it.

Any info would be much appreciated.

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Old 08-17-2006, 09:47 AM   #2
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elmhar HB Userelmhar HB User
Re: IBS caused by Fruit


What happens when you eat tomatoes (which are a fruit)? And avocado, another fruit?

Is it all fruits that flare your IBS? It's not uncommon for people to have a bad experience with, say 5 or 6 different fruits & then to assume that all fruit is out. If it's possible to find a few fruits that are tolerated, that is helpful.

If it's all fruit, it would help you to know what aspect of the fruit is causing the problem. Why? Because many processed foods, and even certain medications, use chemicals derived from fruit. For example, sorbitol, salicylate, and phenols are commonly found in medications.

Here, for starters, are a few of the common "groups" of potential IBS-causing fruits. Some people may react to more than one group.

* high sorbitol fruits -- includes prunes, apple, pear
* high phenol fruits -- Concord grape juice tolerance would be telling. Likely to also react to red cabbage & red kidney bean.
* high oxalate fruits -- berries, figs, rhubarb are highest; in addition would react to tea, herbal tea, & chocolate w/IBS symptoms.
* high salicylate fruits -- berries, pineapple, orange, dried fruit
* tree fruits with pits -- botanical family incl. apple, cherry, peach, plum, apricot, pear
* citrus botanical family -- a common food allergy, can be expressed as IBS.
* banana botanical family -- incl melons; may also have latex allergy.
* Tiny seed fruits -- berries, kiwi induce IBS symptoms. May react similarly to poppy seed & sesame seed.

Are you able to tolerate fruit juice? Sorry if these questions seem picky, but thinking through /observing/ challenging with some of these items can be helpful to you. If you are able to find a few fruits that are tolerated, in some way, that may allow you to have a more rounded diet.

Certain types of fiber can trigger IBS. With this problem one has trouble eating whole (peeled) raw orange, but does OK drinking pulp-free OJ. Or, in general, one tolerates juice better than whole fruit.

Some people are unable to tolerate raw fruit, but are OK with small to moderate amounts of cooked or canned fruit.

The one problem that would leave one intolerant to all fruits would be fructose intolerance. People w/fructose intolerance have difficulty with other foods as well. High fructose corn syrup is ubiquitous to the Standard American Diet. It's found in many baked goods, snack foods, & prepared/convenience/boxed meals. A good test for fructose intolerance is to eat a slab of pecan pie made with corn syrup (most are), see if that kicks up the IBS.

If part of your diet gap is due to decreased fiber, add more veggies for increased soluble fiber. They are low in fat & cal. If you want more stool-bulking type fiber, try whole grains, brans, ground flax seeds (added to cereal or baked goods), or commercial fiber supplements.

Best wishes.

Old 08-20-2006, 11:28 AM   #3
West Coast Girl
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West Coast Girl HB User
Re: IBS caused by Fruit

Great info from elmhar! Try keeping a food diary and see if there are some fruits that are worse than others. Also try peeling ones that can be peeled as sometimes the extra fibre or type of fibre in the peel can cause problems. Good luck.

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