Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common problem of the large intestine (colon). It can be very painful. But it does not damage the intestine or cause death.
We don't know why IBS happens. Most of the symptoms of IBS come from painful muscle spasms of the lower colon. Sometimes IBS slows down bowel movements and causes constipation. It may also speed up bowel movements and cause diarrhea.
For some people some foods may cause attacks of IBS. Stress can also bring on symptoms of IBS.
Other things to watch for are:
You may have these symptoms after you've eaten a big meal or when you are under stress. You may feel better after you have a bowel movement.
Doctors have not yet found a cure for IBS. However, it helps to:
Write down the foods you are eating and how you feel after you eat them. You may find that when you eat some kinds of food, you feel worse. When you learn what these foods are, you can avoid them.
Think about what causes stress for you. Get help for managing stress. Try different ways to take care of stress, such as yoga, meditation, counseling, and exercise.
You may need medicines that give your body more fiber, help prevent spasms, or relieve stress.
You may have symptoms from time to time your whole life. There is no cure yet. But you can do many things to feel better. IBS does not turn into something worse.
Be sure to follow your healthcare provider's advice. Here are other things you can do: