According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects between 25 and 45 million people in the U.S. IBS is a major women’s health issue, as 2 in 3 people who suffer from IBS are female. Most people with IBS are under the age of 50.
What is IBS?
IBS is a common, frustrating, and often life-changing condition. The condition includes a group of symptoms that influence the digestive system.
The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, changes in bowel movement and excess gas. These symptoms vary person to person. It is often common for them to change over time. Symptoms frequently begin immediately after a meal.
The cause of IBS is unknown. There are several factors that play a role in the development of the condition, including changes in gut bacteria, abnormalities in the nerves of the digestive system, stress and other dietary factors.
How can you manage an IBS diagnosis?
For many patients, IBS can be debilitating and negatively impact their day-to-day life. But, it is possible to manage this condition. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Cook homemade meals using fresh ingredients.
- Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day.
- Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms. Foods that commonly trigger IBS symptoms include caffeine, dairy products, fatty foods, gluten, processed foods and foods that are high in fiber.
- Keep a diary of what you eat and the symptoms you experience. This will help you avoid foods and drinks that trigger your IBS.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Get regular exercise.
- Practice stress reduction. Stress can make IBS symptoms worse. Try yoga, meditation, tai chi or other activities to help you relax.
- Try probiotics. Research indicates that by restoring gut balance, probiotics can also help to alleviate IBS symptoms.
Support at South Denver GI
At South Denver GI, our providers have decades of experience helping patients manage IBS symptoms. The comprehensive nutrition care we provide to patients includes the development of specific diets like low FODMAP-fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. A low FODMAP diet can reduce IBS symptoms in up to 86% of patients.
South Denver GI patients are also able to schedule appointments with our registered dietitian, Angela Waliszewski. Angela works closely with patients to develop individualized diet and nutrition plans to help lessen or relieve IBS symptoms.
If you are experiencing IBS symptoms or have been diagnosed with the condition, South Denver GI can help. Call 303-788-8888 or Schedule an Appointment now with one of our highly skilled providers.