Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a frequently diagnosed condition affecting multiple parts of the digestive tract and overall gastrointestinal system. Here we explore what happens during an episode and how best to manage its symptoms effectively.

Young Woman suffer from stomachache

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome, more commonly referred to as IBS, is a disorder affecting the large intestine (known as the colon). IBS may lead to various discomforting symptoms that impede daily life. Though its precise cause remains undetermined it may be related to abnormal muscle contractions within the colon, abdominal pain, or changes in gut bacterial composition as possible causes.


Common Signs and Symptoms of IBS:

  • Abdominal Pain and Cramping: Frequent abdominal discomfort that ranges from mild to severe.
  • Changes in Bowel Habits: Changes to bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation or both could indicate a need for further evaluation.
  • Feeling Bloated and Producing Excess Gas: Bloating and gas production in your digestive system can contribute to GI discomfort.
  • Urgency to Have a Bowel Movement: When this urge occurs suddenly and intensely, it may be hard to control.
  • Mucus in Stool: Individuals living with IBS may notice an increased presence of mucus in their stools.

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Manage IBS Symptoms:

Although there is no cure for IBS, various strategies exist to manage and relieve its symptoms. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Dietary Modifications: Maintain a food diary to identify trigger foods, then make necessary dietary modifications accordingly. Common triggers include spicy food, fatty food, caffeine and artificial sweeteners; increasing fiber consumption can also be helpful as can staying hydrated.
  • Stress Management: Stress and anxiety can exacerbate IBS symptoms, so practice stress-reducing techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or engaging in hobbies you enjoy to ease symptoms.
  • Regular exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling can help regulate bowel movements and relieve stress.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter antispasmodics or laxatives may provide temporary relief of specific symptoms. Prior to taking any medication, always consult with a healthcare provider.
  • Support and Education: Joining support groups or seeking out information from reliable sources can offer invaluable assistance and foster an environment of understanding and solidarity.

When to Seek Medical Advice:

If you suspect IBS or are experiencing persistent or worsening symptoms, it is important to schedule an evaluation at Digestive and Liver Health Specialists for proper diagnosis and a treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be uncomfortable and hinder daily life, but with proper management strategies, symptoms can be controlled. By making dietary modifications, implementing stress management techniques, engaging in regular physical activity, and seeking medical advice when necessary, you can take control of your digestive health and improve your quality of life. Digestive and Liver Health Specialists is here to provide expert guidance and assistance on the journey towards managing IBS and attaining optimal digestive wellness.

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