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Digestive Health Tips on Irritable Bowel Syndrome

American College of Gastroenterology logo
American College of Gastroenterology
1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive problem also known as "spastic colon" or "irritable colon."


2. IBS symptoms include:
• Abdominal pain (colicky, periodic or continuous dull pain)
• Erratic bowel activity; frequent constipation or diarrhea
• Accompanying symptoms of bloating, nausea, headache, fatigue
• Sensitivity to intestinal gas (cramping, flatulence)
3. The cause of IBS is unknown:
• No evidence of specific disease
• May be triggered by psychological factors or ingestion of food
4. IBS is a condition that:
• Is more common in women
• Usually starts at an early age (20s and 30s) and recurs from time to time
• Rarely starts past age 55
5. Treatment of IBS includes:
• Careful explanation of the syndrome, including what it is not
• Better management of key triggers: stress and diet
• Modification of diet to reduce or exclude foods that promote gas
• Drug therapy to relieve symptoms (bulk fiber products, antispasmodics, antidiarrheals)
• Occasionally, psychiatric therapy and medication
 
     
   
     
Gastroenterology

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