Irritable Bowel Syndrome|
On occasion, we all experience abdominal pain or discomfort, but when the discomfort is recurring and affects your daily lifestyle, it’s time to talk to your health care provider. You might have irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.
IBS is a disturbance of colonic function characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and abnormal bowel function resulting in episodes of chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation or both in alternation according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD).
Although the exact cause of IBS is unknown, researchers think that diet and stress play a large role. According to the IFFGD, eating causes contractions of the colon and the strength of the contractions is often related to the amount of fat in a meal. Fat is a strong stimulus of colonic contractions after a meal. IBS sufferers who eat healthy fiber-enriched diets experience fewer IBS symptoms.
Since the colon is controlled partly by the central nervous system, stress stimulates colonic spasms in IBS sufferers. The IFFGD recommends sufferers seek stress reduction training or counseling from a health care professional.