How To Survive A Dinner Party With IBS

The first time you look at the FODMAP diet will have you screaming. Because to figure out what makes you sick you have cut all the good stuff out. You’ll scan over it again and again and come away thinking: ‘What the F**k can I make with six blueberries and the green parts of spring onions?’

The contents of your fridge will start looking like question marks or tiny bombs.

It’s hard enough trying to work out your day to day meals and narrow down on what makes you sick. And, while you are staring into the abyss that is gluten free bread, you don’t want to miss out on your social life.

It’s not worth eating stuff that makes you sick. Ever.  Sometimes people don’t really get that. They will cue in on the ‘diet’ aspect but not the ‘this will make me constipated and flatulent’ part. Have you ever had that moment when somebody is like ‘go on, have some’ and you sit there like:


You shouldn’t have to make yourself sick for any reason. That includes being polite. Going to a dinner party can feel like an ordeal when you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, there is a way to navigate that uncomfortable situation.

Phone ahead

Friends don’t want you to feel sick and uncomfortable. Nor do they want you leaving halfway through the evening and sit home alone with your gurgling stomach as your only company.

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So give your host a heads up.

From there you can work out what to do next.

Be clear

Your host may have the best of intentions and attempt to make something for you. If so, help your lovely host out and give them some pointers. You don’t want to have to say ‘um, I can’t have  that’ when they present you their labour of love. You don’t want to have to eat it then excuse yourself every now and then to subtly fart in the bathroom.

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Just to make your host’s job easier send them a IBS friendly recipe. Yes, you should sit through their questions. Even if you get silly ones like ‘do potatoes have gluten?’


You may be better off bringing something for yourself rather than overwhelming your host with your list of demands. If you think that is a little strange just remember it’s weirder to try and sit through a dinner party feeling like you’re going to vomit or sh*t yourself.

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You can bring a plate for yourself or something big to share with everybody. You might get a little sad that you can’t gobble up those lactose heavy snacks but you’ll have your own yummy treats.

The most important thing is to be open, honest and clear about what your needs are. Because you deserve to have a nice night with your friends without feeling sick.



7 thoughts on “How To Survive A Dinner Party With IBS

  1. OMG – gluten free bread is truely awful 🙂 The other thing I like to do (as my wife and I are vegan) is to suggest taking a course for everyone to share (like all the nibbles or a starter) … that way it’s not weird that you’re eating something akin to a napkin while the other guests chow down on something that once had a pulse


  2. It’s interesting, isn’t it, the lack of validity that so-called “invisible” illnesses receive from the broader public? It isn’t until you’re bloated to the point of looking like you’re in your late third trimester of pregnancy, or puking up a storm in their bathroom that people realise that you’re not making it up for attention – or whatever they think your motivation is.
    What do you think of the recent gluten free craze? I’ve heard there are positives and negatives for those who suffer from coeliac disease. The positives being that it’s trendy for restaurants to have gluten free foods so there are a greater range of options, however, I’ve heard that some restaurants aren’t as strict with contamination, or don’t research ingredients thoroughly enough and gluten gets into these dishes, simply because they think gluten free is a trend and people won’t be affected by it.


  3. I often get asked if I’m coeliac or on a diet. It’s great for me, it means there are more options and with my IBS a little gluten doesn’t do too much damage. I agree that if you offer gf you need to be thorough because for coeliacs even a small amount is damaging.


  4. I will now refer to foods I can eat as ‘yummy treats’ despite the lack of lactose. Maybe then this will make me forget my cheese-less pizza desperately needs the cheese! Great tips to make my gurgling tummy and host comfortable again.


  5. Can you hear that distant clapping? It’s me over hear applauding this How To: for the beautiful relate-ability and understanding every ‘rabbit-food’ eaten has been searching for! It makes me happier than all the garlic and onions in the world could! To hell with gluten, so thank you for this new found confidence! Time to brave the dinner parties, but do you have any advice for weaselling your way out of being the super-drunk girl at wine and cheese night, because you forwent the cheese platter and replaced it with more wine?


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