Hello Doctor brought to you by Dischem – Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS (not to be confused with Irritable Boss Syndrome, something quite different altogether) is a common complaint, affecting up to 15% of the population. It’s likely that most of you have experienced some of the symptoms at one point or another – belly pain, cramping or bloating, and diarrhoea or constipation. When these symptoms persist on a long term basis, you may be experiencing IBS.
We’re still working on understanding what exactly causes IBS. Some ideas include problems with the way signals are sent between the brain and the digestive tract, problems digesting certain foods, and stress or anxiety. People with IBS may have unusually sensitive intestines or problems with the way the muscles of the intestines move.
In terms of managing the condition, what works best for your neighbour’s sister won’t necessarily work for you. You and your doctor or pharmacist will need to work together to determine what may be triggering your symptoms. Treatment usually includes tweaking your diet to ensure you aren’t eating especially irritating foods, taking supplements, including probiotics, getting regular exercise and managing your stress (that’s when you’ll need to deal with the Irritable Boss Syndrome!).