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How to Recognize the Signs of IBS

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that many people face daily. As a digestive system issue, IBS can cause varying symptoms including diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps and more. IBS can be debilitating, interrupting everyday life including at school and work. Learning more about the condition can help to determine if a medical evaluation is needed and how you can go about treating the condition.

Symptoms of IBS

An individual who has IBS will experience a series of symptoms for six months or more. The symptoms should be present at least three times a month within a three-month period. One symptom that will be found in every case of IBS is abdominal pain. The abdominal pain an individual feels will vary and may be alleviated when the individual has a bowel movement.

IBS can cause diarrhea, constipation or both as well as bloating, gas and stomach pain. If you have experienced these symptoms, it is important to track how you feel and how often you experience these issues. This can help determine if you have IBS and what might be triggering a flare-up.


It is recommended that patients who have IBS keep a journal to figure out what is triggering the symptoms of the condition. Foods are the main trigger point. If you eat foods that cause gas or bloating, such as broccoli, you may have a flare-up. Once the trigger points have been determined, changes to the diet can be made to ensure that symptoms are lessened or non-existent.

Treatment for IBS can include stress management, medications, dietary changes or complementary and alternative medicine. If you find that you are experiencing the symptoms associated with IBS, speak to a physician. A medical professional will be able to evaluate your symptoms and determine if you are experiencing IBS or possibly other gastrointestinal conditions.