If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you’re one of the 10-15% of adults who are affected worldwide.
During the month of April, health organizations, companies, and individuals will raise awareness about IBS – it’s symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of IBS can change over time and may seem random, but there tends to be a pattern that can help your doctor diagnose it as IBS. Common IBS symptoms include:
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen or upper abdomen that often includes a feeling of cramps.
- Changes in stool, including frequency, and having diarrhea or constipation, which can alternate.
- An early feeling of fullness.
- Feelings of urgent bowel movements.
- Feeling of incomplete bowel emptying.
Does a Special IBS Diet Help?
While the digestion of food for people with IBS is not different than people without IBS, certain foods can aggravate symptoms.
There is no cure for IBS, but managing your diet can help ease symptoms. Fried foods or those high in fat, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar can cause cramping or diarrhea. Eating too many foods that cause gas, including beans, legumes, broccoli, bagels, or foods high in insoluble fiber, can increase feelings of bloating or pain.
Schedule an appointment at Piedmont Colorectal Associates to discuss other ways to manage specific symptoms, especially if your IBS symptoms interfere with your daily life. Because symptoms can change and IBS affects each person differently, it’s best to work with your doctor to see if lifestyle changes or medications can help.
Getting Involved During IBS Awareness Month
If you or someone you know suffers from IBS, there are many resources to help you cope and help spread the word.
• Download educational posters.
• Share media and press release with you local media or on social media.
• Read personal stories of others living with IBS or share your own.
• Join the conversation on social media.