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  • Janette O'toole

April is IBS awareness month!

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is used to describe a group of gut symptoms.

This is a common condition which may affect 10- 15% of people.

What are common symptoms of IBS?

• Intermittent abdominal pain or discomfort

• Abdominal bloating and gas

• Fluctuating or changing) bowel habits

Symptoms can vary from one person to another and can also change over time.

Symptoms may be related to eating certain foods, lifestyle habits and your mood and stress levels.

What are the different types of IBS?

• Those commonly experiencing loose stool (diarrhoea)

• Those commonly experiencing constipation (hard, less regular stool, or requiring to strain to empty the bowels)

• Those experiencing both diarrhoea and constipation

How is IBS diagnosed?

To diagnosis IBS, your doctor will do tests to exclude other conditions such as coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease.

Tips to help manage IBS

• Speak to your doctor about medical management.

• Take your time when eating meals - sit, eat slowly and chew food well.

• Enjoy sharing meals with friends and family.

• Exercise regularly (walking, yoga, swimming and cycling are great forms of exercise).

• Mood and stress levels can affect your gut and bowel health. Each day take some time to help de-stress or relax. For example going for a walk, practicing a breathing exercise, meditating or reading a book.

• Keep a diary recording foods you eat and the symptoms you experience (a food and symptom diary). This may help you see which foods are helping or worsening your symptoms.

For more information IBS Awareness Month - About IBS


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