Can You Eat Eggs If You Have IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome — better known as simply IBS — is tricky to both diagnose and treat, since each person who suffers from it will experience a different set of symptoms and different set of triggers for those symptoms. Eggs are a great example of this: For some, the protein-packed breakfast staple is no problem, and for others, a hardboiled egg might cause severe cramping or other gastrointestinal side effects. And since eggs are also a staple ingredient in many non-breakfast foods, removing them from your diet entirely can be difficult.

"Eggs can be easy for some but can be a trigger for some IBS symptoms in others," gastroenterologist Christine Lee told the Cleveland Clinic. "It really depends on the person." She adds that IBS symptoms come in many forms, including extreme stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and stomach cramping. Because of the huge variety in symptoms, it's impossible to offer one protocol to solve all of the issues — and IBS patients may be fine for weeks at a time between flare ups.

How do you know if you can eat eggs?

Obviously, if you actually are allergic to eggs, you should skip them. But otherwise, if you try cutting them out and don't notice a change in stomach issues after a couple of weeks, you're likely able to eat them without worrying. Lee notes that if you regularly deal with constipation, eggs may be problematic: Due to their high protein content, they're binding and may make constipation worse. On the flip side, if you more regularly deal with diarrhea as an IBS symptom, eggs being binding agents may actually help your gut slow down your bowel movements.

Eggs are likely not the first or only food you'll want to consider cutting out if you have IBS: Start with the more common trigger foods, like highly-processed breads and cereals, carbonated drinks, coffee, alcohol, dairy, and ultra-processed food like chocolate bars (via WebMD). Unfortunately, many of those tasty treats are more likely to cause stomach upset than eggs.