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EXPERT
Dr. Andrea Ruman, MD (Internist) answered

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder affecting about one in five American adults. It commonly involves a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain, cramping or bloating, excessive passing of gas, diarrhea or constipation--sometimes occurring in alternating bouts and with mucus in the stool. And if all that's not uncomfortable enough, you also get to describe these symptoms to your doctor. (Really, don't be shy. It's for your health and we've heard it all before.)

No one really knows what causes IBS. The muscular walls of the intestinal tract contract in an uncoordinated way either speeding up the transit of food (leading to diarrhea) or slowing it down (leading to constipation and gas). These aren't very ladylike symptoms, but unfortunately younger women are twice as likely to have IBS! For 50 percent of people, IBS begins before age 35.

It's important to see your doctor if you have a persistent change in bowel habits or if you have any other signs or symptoms of IBS, because these may be an indication of a more serious condition. There are no findings when your doctor performs a physical exam or diagnostic tests that confirm the diagnosis of IBS, so the only way to assess the condition is with full disclosure of your signs and symptoms.

While there is no cure for IBS, there are treatments that focus on minimizing the symptoms and preventive measures including dietary and lifestyle changes. For example:

- Limit or eliminate foods that may make diarrhea worse, including caffeine, alcohol, milk products, foods high in sugar, fatty foods, gas-producing foods (such as beans, cabbage and broccoli) and the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol (often used in sugarless gum and sugarless candy).

- To reduce constipation, add fiber to your diet, drink plenty of water and get regular exercise.

- Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea, so eating smaller meals more often, or eating smaller portions, may help IBS symptoms.

- Keep a food journal. Record everything you've eaten each time you have a bout of IBS symptoms. Try this for at least a month to give you enough information to determine possible triggers.

For more information about irritable bowel syndrome click here.

 

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EXPERT
Jacqui Brockman, RD, CDN, CLT (Registered Dietitian) answered
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is diagnosed when someone has reoccurring changes in bowel movements including: cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation. IBS can be contributed by stress and/or dietary allergies/sensitivities. Keeping a food and symptom record can be helpful to keep track of your reactions to certain foods and stressful situations. An elimination diet can also be helpful, but this is a bit of a guessing game. Not everyone reacts to food the same way. For instance, one person may have digestive problems after eating potatoes while another person reacts to wheat. LEAP Therapy is a special nutrition program that includes a specific blood test, which reveals what food and food chemicals are causing the reactions. It is very useful in this situation because it takes the guessing out of the equation. Please contact me anytime for further information....jacquibrockman.com
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MalachiBradford answered
IBS is considered as functional disorder of large intestine (colon) which causes disease like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea etc. Though IBS will not lead to colon cancer, but it can be a chronic condition that does not resolve on their own. Hence it’s important to visit a physician who will likely to prescribe some laboratory test, performed by the help of tools available on http://www.ilexmedical.com/ , which shows whether you have celiac disease or not. If they will not found red-flag symptoms (e.g. rectal bleeding, fever, anemia) in your blood, then you are not affected by IBS and treatment will go normal. But if they believe to have more thorough investigation, then they may refer you to an expert gastroenterologist.
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