What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS) is a condition of the digestive system which poses no serious threat to your health.
The precise causes of IBS are unknown, but it can be triggered by stress immune system problems, and the way your stomach muscles squeeze food through your bowel.
How common is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
IBS is one of the most common digestive conditions, affecting 10 to 20% of people. It is twice as common in women.
What are the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
There are three main patterns of symptoms in IBS. These are IBS with diarrhoea, IBS with constipation, and IBS mixed. The symptoms of IBS are usually worse after eating and tend to flare up in bouts.
The most common symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping relieved by emptying your bowels, diarrhoea and constipation, bloating, excessive wind, an urgent need to go to the toilet, feeling like you haven’t fully emptied your bowel and passing mucus in your stools.
How is Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS) treated?
IBS Symptoms can usually be controlled by lifestyle changes. Making a food diary helps establish trigger foods to help you find a diet that works for you. IBS may also improve with regular meals, drinking plenty of fluid, restricting coffee and alcohol intake, limit fresh fruit to three portions a day, and avoiding artificial sweeteners.
Exercise can also help with IBS symptoms, as can reducing stress. Medication can also be used to help treat IBS, like antispasmodics, laxatives and antidepressants.