IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition effecting up to 20% of population and numbers are rising. There are more women sufferers than men and age that it commonly starts is at around twenty. It is classed as a ‘functional’ disorder as it alters way body works and therefore is not diagnosable using traditional means such as examination or blood test.
It is not a commonly understood condition, with medical community unable to clarify exact cause. IBS appears to occur due to body’s inability to regulate bowel functions correctly. This leads to a number of unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, excessive wind and irregular bowel movements including constipation and/or diarrhoea. However, there are treatments available to allow sufferers to manage their symptoms.
If you start to notice irregular bowel movements or suffer prolonged abdominal discomfort you could be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Keeping a diary to monitor food intake, exercise and stress levels is a good idea to track anything that may exacerbate your symptoms. When diagnosing IBS your medical practitioner will ask you for a general history of your bowel movements so keeping records will come in handy.
Certain foods are also recognized as triggers for IBS, such as fatty foods, caffeine and dairy products. Keeping a food diary will help you identify if eating these foods cause your symptoms to flare up and you can eliminate them in line with advice from your doctor.