Millions of people suffer from digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and don't even know it. IBS is a common disorder that affects the large and small intestines, causing abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. This month we're raising awareness for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with some helpful tips on managing your IBS symptoms!

What Are Some IBS Symptoms?

IBS is a disorder that affects the large and small intestines. IBS though common can be a frustrating and life changing condition that can affect how you go about your normal daily life.

The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. These symptoms can vary from person to person and can change over time. Some people may experience only one or two of these symptoms, while others may experience them all. However, regardless of which combination of symptoms you may experience, what can be done about it? Is it something avoidable?

Unfortunately the cause of IBS is unknown, but it is believed to be related to problems with food movement through the intestines. IBS can also be caused by changes in gut bacteria, stress, and dietary factors.

How To Manage Your IBS

Here are some tips on how to manage your symptoms of IBS:

  • Try to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day. This will help keep your blood sugar stable and reduce stomach pain and bloating.
  • Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms. This may vary from person to person, but common triggers include caffeine, dairy products, fatty foods, and high-fiber foods.
  • Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can trigger diarrhea and abdominal pain in people with IBS.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise can help reduce stress and may improve bowel function.
  • Try probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to restore gut balance and may improve IBS symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms of IBS, talk to your doctor about what treatments may work best for you. There is no cure for IBS, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms.

Signs That You May Have Something Other Than IBS

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is essential to see a physician too rule out any other, more serious conditions:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain that does not go away
  • Persistent diarrhea or constipation
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
  • Constipation that lasts for more than a week
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained vomiting

It may be possible that these are signs that something other than IBS - like colon cancer or Crohn's Disease is occurring. If you want help determining what course of action would work best for you and your digestive health issues, reach out to our professional gastroenterologists.

Digestive Health Partners Can Help With IBS

If you are suffering from IBS, we can provide you with more information and care. We encourage you to contact us and set up an appointment to help diagnose and find an effective treatment plan in managing your symptoms.