Do you think you might have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Learn more about this common syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects up to 20% of adults in the United States according to WomensHealth.gov. It’s a commonly diagnosed syndrome that involves symptoms that appear for at least three months. Because it involves bowel movements, it’s a disorder that isn’t talked about openly as much as other medical issues. Don’t be embarrassed by IBS. Get the facts and how you can get help.

What is IBS?

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse describes IBS as a group of symptoms that occur together. As opposed to a disease, it’s a cluster of symptoms that can include abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping, and diarrhea or constipation. Some people experience diarrhea and constipation.

How is IBS diagnosed?

There is no surefire way to diagnose IBS. It is often diagnosed by ruling out other issues such as colon cancer, celiac disease and infection. Doctors will conduct tests to make sure you don’t have other issues. If your doctor believes you have IBS, you can start treating symptoms and trying to avoid them.

Who gets IBS?

IBS is more common in women and often appears before the age of 35. It may be more common in individuals who experience stress and anxiety and those with other issues of the gastrointestinal tract.

How is IBS managed?

While there is no cure for IBS, many individuals can manage symptoms through diet adjustments, medication and therapy. Because IBS is strongly linked to stress and anxiety, it often helps to manage psychological aspects of the syndrome to in turn help the physical symptoms. Your doctor will help you adjust your diet to remove triggers and may prescribe medication or supplements to help with irregular bowel movements.

Discover whether or not your symptoms could be a sign of IBS. Visit the North Hills Hospital online health information section to learn more about irritable bowel syndrome. If you would like help finding a doctor to speak with, call 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.

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