Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS) is a common, long-termcondition of the digestive system. Itcan cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, Traveller's diarrhoea and/or constipation .
The symptomsvary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.
You may find some of the symptoms of IBS ease after going to the toilet and opening your bowels.
IBS is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men.
The condition is often lifelong, although it may improve over several years.
Your GP may be able to identify IBS based on your symptoms, although blood tests may be needed to rule out other conditions.
You may go for many months without any symptoms, then have a sudden flare-up.
The conditioncan also be painful and debilitating, which can have a negative impact on your quality of life and emotional state. Many people with IBS will experience feelings of depression and anxiety , at some point.
Speak to your GP if you have feelings of depression or anxiety that areaffecting your daily life. These problems rarely improve without treatment and your GP can recommend treatments such as antidepressants or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) , which can help you cope with IBS, as well as directly treating the condition.
With appropriate medical and psychological treatment, you should be able to live a normal, full and active life with IBS.
IBS does not pose a serious threat to your physical health and does not increase your chances of developing cancer or other bowel-related conditions.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation.
The symptoms of IBS are usually worse after eating and tend to come and go in bouts.
The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown, but most experts think that it's related to problems with digestion and increased sensitivity of the gut.
There are no specific tests for IBS, as it does not cause any obvious detectable abnormalities in your digestive system.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can often be managed by changing your diet and lifestyle, and understanding the nature of the condition.
After having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for more than 20 years, Ansar Ahmed Ullah is learning to live with the condition.