Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS- colon anatomy

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common condition affecting the gut and digestive system with symptoms such as bloating and alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation. For some people this can be relatively mild and for some this can be severe.

It affects women more than men, and can be caused by stress or certain types of foods. Relief and treatment can vary depending on the individual ranging from dietary changes and managing stress to medication and counselling.

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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IBS symptom abdomen pain

These can include some of the following:

  1. Excessive wind.
  2. Stomach pain.
  3. Diarrhea.
  4. Constipation.
  5. Mucus in the stool.
  6. Bloating.
  7. Lack of energy.
  8. Feeling sick.
  9. Anxiety.
  10. Depression.


Irritable bowel syndrome causes
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The causes of IBS are largely unknown however experts believe it is caused by a combination of gut sensitivity and psychological factors such as stress. Certain foods and drinks can act like triggers to the condition such as:

  1. Alcohol.
  2. Caffeine.
  3. Soda drinks.
  4. Processed snacks.
  5. Fatty or fried foods.
  6. Stress.
  7. Anxiety.
  8. Other patient specific triggers for which one should consult a Doctor.

Related Questions


yoghurt 1

Treatments can vary from individual to individual and can include the following:

  1. Dietary changes.
  2. Modifying the amounts of fibre depending on the symptoms.
  3. A low FODMAP diet which essentially means reducing the amount of certain carbohydrates that are not easily broken down by the digestive system.
  4. Exercise.
  5. Stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation.
  6. Probiotics which are found in yogurt for example.
  7. Medications.
  8. Psychological treatments including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and counselling.


IBS prevention- cabbage.

There are various ways in which irritable bowel syndrome can be prevented and one can lead a healthy, normal life. Avoiding certain foods which trigger IBS is the best form of prevention however other dietary modifications can help prevent IBS such as:

  1. Increasing the fiber intake in food through fruits, beans, vegetables and cereals.
  2. Drinking plenty of water.
  3. Eating ground flax seeds.
  4. Avoiding extreme temperature foods in one meal like very hot soup and cold ice-cream.
  5. Avoiding vegetables such as cabbage.

If you have a quick question, ask a Gastroenterologist for free.

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