Since April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, it’s a good time to talk about this common disorder.
IBS can happen any time, but it often begins in the teens or early adulthood. Irritable bowel syndrome is twice as common in women as in men. Besides the common cold, IBS symptoms are the most frequent reason people cannot go to work or school. Symptoms include chronic abdominal pain or cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation.
Irritable bowel syndrome can cause pain so severe that some patients double over. Diarrhea can be acute enough to confine sufferers to the bathroom, afraid to leave home; constipation can last for days at a time.
While there is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome, these tips can help control its symptoms:
- eat a healthy diet,
- manage everyday stress; and
- exercise every day.
If none of these measures work, consult your doctor to make sure that nothing more serious is happening in your digestive tract.