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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

When IBS occurs, it is predominantly located in the large bowel; the colon does not contract as it should, which results in changing bowel patterns between constipation and diarrhea. Another symptom of IBS is abdominal discomfort or pain that can be in more than one localized area of the abdomen. The air accumulating in the bowel during the spasms and contractions can cause air to build up and contribute to abdominal bloating/swelling.

IBS is extremely common and is present in about half of the patients that see a gastroenterologist. This diagnosis is not considered a disease, and is often active when there is a heightened interaction between the brain and the gut. It usually involves an abundance of nerve impulses that are being generated due to the typical stressors of daily life. IBS is also termed as “sensitive bowel.” Certain foods such as coffee, alcohol, spices, raw fruits, vegetables, and even milk can cause the colon to malfunction.

Large amounts of beneficial fiber can be helpful; increase in physical exercise is encouraged as well as eliminating high stressors in your daily life if possible.