IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Did you know that if you often have stomach cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation, you could have irritable bowel syndrome?
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the large bowel, meaning the bowel doesn’t work, or function, correctly. IBS is not a disease, but a group of symptoms.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
The main symptoms of IBS are:
- pain or discomfort in the abdomen, often relieved by a bowel movement
- chronic diarrhea, constipation, or both
- other symptoms include
- whitish mucus in the stool
- a swollen or bloated abdomen
- the feeling that you have not finished a bowel movement
- women with IBS often have more symptoms during their menstrual periods.
How will I know if I have IBS?
Your doctor may diagnose IBS based on your symptoms. No specific test for IBS exists, but your doctor may do some tests to rule out other health problems that can cause the same symptoms.
What can I do about IBS?
IBS has no cure but you can take some steps to relieve symptoms. You might have to try a few different things to see what works best for you. Your doctor can help you find the right treatment plan, which may include
- avoiding foods that can trigger symptoms, such as fatty foods, milk products, and carbonated drinks
- eating foods with fiber
- eating four or five small meals instead of three big meals
- taking medicines that help relieve symptoms
- reducing emotional stress