What symptoms are associated with IBS?
The common symptoms associated with IBS include:
Mucus in the stool
What causes IBS?
Muscles in your colon contract to cause bowel movements. Sufferers of IBS are believed to be sensitive to certain triggers causing a strong response in the entire gut and may change your body’s ability to move food through your digestive system. These triggers can be anything from foods, medication or stress.
I think I might suffer from IBS, what should I do?
Visit your GP if you think you have IBS. They will rule out other illnesses, causes of inflammation and infections. They will ask about your symptoms and whether there is a pattern to them. Your GP may suggest you keep a food diary to see whether your diet affects your symptoms.
How is IBS diagnosed?
IBS is diagnosed by ruling out certain causes. The Rome criterion helps doctors make an accurate diagnosis. This is a list of symptoms and episodes such as the presence, frequency and duration of occurring symptoms. In addition, doctors can run several tests to rule out infection or other inflammation within the body.
How is IBS treated?
There is no cure for IBS, but the symptoms can be managed by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Medication is sometimes prescribed for IBS.
IBS is unpredictable. You may go for many months without any symptoms and then have a sudden flare-up. It can also take many months for your symptoms to settle down. With appropriate treatment you should be able to live a normal and active life.
Can diet affect IBS?
While foods do not cause IBS, eating certain foods can trigger the symptoms.
Eating several smaller meals during the day, rather than three large ones may help to reduce symptoms. Additionally, it can be helpful to avoid processed and refined foods and increase your intake of wholegrain bread, brown rice, quinoa, lentils, vegetables, low fat meats and fruit. Common trigger foods include: