About Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS is a complex condition and we don’t really understand
the cause. It usually means you have more sensitive bowels than most people and in
many cases it can be aggravated by stress, or dietary factors. If you do have IBS,
it’s good to know that many of the symptoms can be treated.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: the facts

Irritable bowel syndrome is a very common bowel condition – up to 20% of the population1 experience IBS symptoms at some point in their lives, and it can be prolonged over years1. The exact cause of IBS is not yet fully understood, but a number of factors can lead to bowel sensitivity.If you are experiencing typical IBS symptoms, it’s best to visit your GP to get a confirmed diagnosis.

What causes IBS?

Here are the most common reasons for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

Stress: Stress and anxiety are generally agreed by doctors to be aggravating factors with IBS. Incidents such as divorce or work problems can affect your natural digestive rhythm.

Illness: If you have ever had a severe gastrointestinal infection, for example dysentery, in the past you might continue to have bowel problems later.

Diet: Eating on the run usually has a negative effect on your bowels. If you eat a diet that’s low in fibre and high in fat, this can also easily disrupt your bowels normal rhythm.

Hormones: For women, menstruation and other hormonal changes can cause or aggravate IBS.

Do you have IBS?

IBS can be painful, embarassing and inconvenient to deal with.

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The symptoms of IBS

The symptoms of IBS can vary from person to person. Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Cramp-like abdominal pain
  • Fullness and bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Persistent constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • Passing mucus as well as stools
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your bowels

If you think you might be suffering from IBS, you should see your doctor to and discuss the symptoms. If you do have IBS, and suffer diarrhoea as a consequence, IMODIUM® can be a helpul way to manage diarrhoea associated with IBS.

1 NICE Clinical Practise Guideline. Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: Diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome in primary care. February 2008