The silly season is quickly approaching, along with Summer here in Australia. For many of us this means Christmas parties, BBQ’s, end of year functions and of course New Years celebrations! This can be a wonderful time of year spending more time with family, friends and colleagues. However, all of these social activities often involve alcohol…which can be problematic for those with IBS.
Alcohol and IBS symptoms
Alcohol itself is a gut irritant, meaning it can cause gut symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, pain and wind for anyone. For those who suffer with IBS, alcohol commonly exacerbates symptoms. Alcohol can also impact out gut microbiota (gut bacteria), so regularly drinking can lead to a disruption of our balance of good gut bacteria.
Is alcohol low FODMAP?
The type of alcoholic beverage will determine whether it is low or high FODMAP.
Some high FODMAP alcoholic beverages to avoid are:
- Sticky/fortified wine and liqueurs (often includes cocktails)
- Some fruit based beverages such as cider
Some low FODMAP alternatives include:
- Red wine, dry white wine, sparkling wine/champagne
- Vodka, gin, tequila and whisky
- Beer (choose a gluten-free beer if coeliac)
It is important to note that even if you choose a low FODMAP alcohol, it may still exacerbate symptoms due to alcohol itself being a gut irritant.
Tips for managing IBS symptoms when drinking
If you choose to drink alcohol, there are some tips you can take on to try minimise exacerbation of IBS symptoms. Some of our key tips are:
- Choose low FODMAP alcoholic beverages such as vodka/gin and soda water and try limit to 2 drinks per day. Check out our article on healthier low fodmap summer drinks for some great lighter options.
- Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage
- Eat low FODMAP foods. Often we don’t make the best food choices when drinking so sticking to low FODMAP options can make a big difference in severity of symptoms suffered after a night of drinking
- Get to bed early if you can and have a good nights sleep, this will also help minimise severity of symptoms the next day
Image sourced from @Pinterest
Start feeling better now! By signing up to The FODMAP Challenge you will receive meal plans, recipe ideas, and regular support with other resources, to make this as easy for you as possible.