Common Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms

Irritable Bowel SyndromeIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that causes a number of unpleasant symptoms. Unfortunately, since symptoms can vary from person to person, many fail to recognize they are suffering from the disorder. In fact, only about one in five people with IBS actually seek medical attention. If you suffer from any of the following common irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, seek an evaluation from your physician.

  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Mucus in the stool

What Causes IBS?
Although experts do not know the exact cause of IBS, they believe it may result from a combination of a disruption in the communication GI tract and brain, increased awareness of bodily functions and abnormal gastrointestinal (GI) tract movements.
While there is no cure for the disorder, patients can reduce attacks by avoiding specific trigger foods, including:

  • Horseradish
  • Cauliflower
  • Watercress
  • Wasabi
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Black beans
  • Edamame
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Soy nuts
  • Fava beans

Because irritable bowel syndrome causes symptoms that can mimic more serious disorders, it’s important to seek medical attention if you regularly demonstrate any of the following:

  • Abdominal pain that is more frequent or worsens at night
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding

Although these symptoms may be related to IBS, they could also be a sign of more serious conditions, such as colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. For this reason, it’s important to seek an evaluation to help catch any potential issue in its early stages. Likewise, if your symptoms are caused by IBS, your doctor may be able to provide advice and treatments that can help you avoid or reduce many IBS symptoms, such as chronic diarrhea.

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