If you’re living with irritable bowel syndrome, then you know that chronic abdominal discomfort and bowel issues can affect every area of your life and dominate your day to day. So the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) designated a whole month to IBS Awareness. 10%–15% of the U.S. population has irritable bowel syndrome. That’s 1 in 7 people or over 30 million Americans alone. IBS Awareness Month aims to increase federal funding for research through patient and policymaker education.
Symptoms of IBS
Recurrent intestinal pain, gas, and stool changes—such as diarrhea and constipation—are uncomfortable to discuss and even worse to deal with. Unfortunately, after years of constant belly aches, bloat, and urgent restroom visits, many get used to their motility problems and don’t seek medical intervention. Instead, they suffer in silence and go undiagnosed, believing relief can only be found in passing bowel movements and restricting their eating. Symptoms tend to change daily or over time in addition to flaring up unexpectedly. This inconsistency and uncertainty significantly impair IBS sufferers’ quality of life.
What You Can Do
The first step in your digestive health journey is scheduling an assessment with a GI specialist. A licensed, accredited physician will examine you, determine a diagnosis, and prescribe a course of treatment, which may include medication or lifestyle changes to manage your symptoms.
If you’re constipated, eating breakfast and exercising may stimulate the colon and keep you regular. Movement practices like yoga and tai chi can be a beneficial intersection of exercise and relaxation. Further, taking probiotics and avoiding narcotics may combat your primary symptoms, and peppermint oil capsules have been shown to decrease GI muscle spasms. Your doctor may encourage you to try eliminating caffeine, chocolate, fiber, and nuts from your diet.
Concorde Is Here to Help
Make an appointment with a Concorde Gastroenterology specialist today. We have several locations for your convenience. We’re the IBS experts and we’ll get you on the path to feeling better!