Q: Which wines can I drink if I suffer from IBS?—Lisa, Madison, Wisc.
A: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that causes painful abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation, symptoms which can sometimes be mitigated through diet. "Food and drinks that are high in FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols) are common triggers for patients with IBS," says University of Wisconsin gastroenterologist Dr. Ian Grimes. In layman's terms, that means fermentable carbohydrates like wheat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Fructose is among those key FODMAPs to avoid, which means wines that are high in residual sugar, like Port and other dessert or even off-dry wines, may be irritants for IBS sufferers.
"[Dry] wines are generally a good choice for patients with IBS, as most are low in FODMAPs," Dr. Grimes told Wine Spectator, "including most red wines, sparkling wines and white wines." IBS sufferers are also statistically more likely to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which may be aggravated by wines high in sugar and/or alcohol. Consult your physician before incorporating wine into a healthy lifestyle.