Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Patient Education Overview

Affecting 15 percent of Americans – most of them women –Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is one of the most common disorders of the bowel.

IBS is an ongoing problem that occurs in the large intestine when food travels too quickly through the intestines leading to pain and discomfort.

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Urge to have a bowel movement even when the colon is empty
  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Bloating and gas
  • Mucus in the stool

Symptoms increase with:

  • Stress
  • Fast foods
  • Menstruation
  • Consumption of certain foods (milk products, chocolate, wheat)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeine as found in tea, coffee or soda


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