What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

    What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that causes abdominal pain or discomfort along with changes in stool frequency and consistency.

    IBS affects approximately 10% of Americans at any given time. It often begins during childhood or adolescence, and symptoms tend to worsen over time.


    Know the Symptoms

    If you think you might have IBS, talk to your doctor. He or she will ask questions about your symptoms and perform tests to determine whether you actually do have IBS.


    Understand the Causes

    There are several possible causes of irritable bowel syndrome, including stress, diet, hormones, medications, and other medical conditions.


    Find Relief

    If you suffer from IBS, there are some things you can do to help manage symptoms. First, try to avoid foods that trigger an attack. This includes caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, and carbonated beverages. Also, limit intake of fiber, sugar, and fat. Try eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Finally, drink plenty of water.


    Learn about IBS symptoms

    There are two main types of IBS: diarrhea-predominant and constipation-predominant. Both types cause similar symptoms, such as cramping, bloating, gas, and frequent passing of mucus. However, people who have diarrhea-predominant IBS tend to pass loose stools more often than those with constipation-predominent IBS.


    Understand how diet may affect IBS

    People with IBS usually feel better after eating fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils. These foods help move food through the intestines more quickly, reducing the chance of painful contractions. In addition, some medications used to treat IBS can worsen symptoms by causing diarrhea.

    The content of the page is for informational purposes only, please consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.