Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of a number of digestive disorders. It is an unpredictable condition, in which sufferers can experience a variety of symptoms, sometimes from one extreme to the other. I have experienced constipation in the morning & diarrhoea in the afternoon & vice versa. Many people don’t understand how painful & debilitating IBS can be.

Symptoms vary between sufferers & can include:

  • diarrhoea
  • abdominal pain
  • cramps
  • constipation
  • Erratic bowel movements
  • bloting
  • wind

IBS is a life-long condition that usually develops between the ages of 20-30 & affects twice as many women as men. Symptoms can be exacerbated by stress, certain foods &, in women, the menstrual cycle.

IBS can be managed by a change in lifestyle, diet &, in some cases, medication. Reducing stress (easier said than done!) & cutting out foods that trigger symptoms can be beneficial. I have found the FODMAP diet, developed at the Montash University, Australia, to be particularly helpful in managing my IBS.

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Useful resources –

NHS Choices, IBS. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx.

Low FODMAP Diet For Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Montash University. http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/. Copyright © 2010 Monash University ABN 12 377 614 012

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  • IBS is one of those illnesses that gets mis-diagnosed so much by GPs. I’ve had it since a teen so I tend to eat little & often. When I was at college in my early 30’s, I would sometimes skip lunch and then the cramps & bloat would start.
    I do manage it ok but when I get Fibro flares & migraines, it can go hand in hand, especially when the gut gets irritated by medication.
    H x

    • You’re so right there! Mine wasn’t mis-diagnosed, but t was pretty much ignored. I’ve never actually been told “You have IBS” but was given treatment for it. How is that right? “Here, take these tablets but I’m not going to tell you why.” Mine started when I was about 17, but want without diagnosis for nearly 10 years. I feel very lucky that mine doesn’t seem to be affected by my other conditions. Xx