Today, we are uncovering a disorder that affects 20% of Americans - IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It results in recurrent abdominal pain, and can severely affect your diet and your life. We’ll analyze ways to reduce its symptoms, here at CHI Health!
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome and its Symptoms?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. Although the cause is not completely known, IBS symptoms typically worsen when we experience stress or eat certain foods. Symptoms include changes in bowel habits with constipation, diarrhea, or both. IBS affects people differently, but patients with IBS typically have abdominal pain or discomfort that improves with passage of stool or gas.
What Types of Foods Trigger Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Many different foods that have been shown to trigger IBS including anything with high fructose corn syrup, so put down that soda! Other trigger foods include dairy products, grains containing gluten, and certain fruits and vegetables like apples, onions, cauliflower, and legumes. To help identify problem foods, keep a daily journal of your food and activities. This way, when your IBS flares up, you can recognize the cause of the problem, whether its food or stress related, and try to avoid this trigger in the future. It may help to eat well-cooked foods, and to exercise because it can reduce symptoms and stress.
If pain is severe, if you notice blood in the stools, or if the need to have a bowel movement wakes you from sleep at night, please consult a provider. These symptoms could be the result of ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, colon polyps or colon cancer. These are serious diseases and require medical attention.