Can pasta cause irritable bowel syndrome?

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Abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and stomach pain that occurs after eating pasta might be an indication of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Several digestive issues can cause similar symptoms which is why it is important to be properly assessed by a doctor. There are common conditions that can cause similar symptoms after eating pasta such as food intolerance and food allergies. It is important to note that pasta contains several ingredients that are considered as highly allergenic ingredients such as eggs, soy and wheat.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS is a common digestive issue that causes chronic constipation or diarrhea along with cramping, bloating and abdominal pain. The symptoms are usually triggered by eating certain foods and stress. If an individual has IBS, he/she must avoid foods that contain gluten since it can worsen the symptoms.

The precise cause of IBS is not yet fully understood and does not cause any harm to the digestive system. Many believe that IBS is triggered by the breakdown of the communication between the brain and nerves in the muscles of the colon.

Irritable bowel syndrome
IBS is a common digestive issue that causes chronic constipation or diarrhea along with cramping, bloating and abdominal pain.

Can pasta trigger symptoms of IBS?

Various pasta products might contain wheat, dairy, eggs and soy which can trigger the symptoms of IBS. There are also some pasta varieties that are served with a cream sauce that contains fish, milk or nuts. Remember that it is difficult to determine if the symptoms are due to IBS or a food allergy without undergoing proper testing.

An allergy test can determine if the individual has food allergy or not. Once an individual is diagnosed with IBS and pasta is known to trigger the symptoms, he/she must stop eating pasta and observe if the symptoms improve.


The main treatment for IBS is to eliminate foods that causes the manifestation of the symptoms or worsens them as well as avoiding being stressed out. The doctor will recommend an elimination diet to check if the symptoms reduce by eliminating pasta and other foods that contain gluten or wheat.

Take note that IBS can be managed with medications such as over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medications, fiber supplements and over-the-counter laxatives. A doctor must be consulted before any medication is used. In addition, eating at regular times as well as minimizing the levels of stress can help improve the symptoms. If you want to learn how to manage this condition, read here.

Considerations to bear in mind

Food allergy or intolerance might play a role in the manifestation of symptoms linked with IBS. A food allergy can occur once the immune system overly reacts to the proteins present in certain foods that instigate a chemical reaction in the body. As for food intolerance, it is the inability of the digestive system to fully digest certain proteins and sugar which results to similar symptoms as IBS.

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