IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a common disorder that can affect both the stomach and the intestines. Because IBS can affect people of all ages, it is estimated that between 25 to 45 million people in the United States struggle with it. That comes out to about 10-15% of the entire population! Since IBS is a fairly common disorder, I wanted to share about its most common symptoms, who is most likely to get it, and what are the top things that trigger it.
What are the most common symptoms of IBS?
A disorder that affects both the stomach and the intestines generally creates an array of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
However, a person suffering from IBS may not experience these symptoms all the time as they can also arise during flare-ups, which can range from a few days to a few months at a time.
Who is most likely to get IBS?
Women are more statistically likely to develop IBS than men. In fact, it is estimated that women are up to two times more likely to develop it. Why? Studies suggest that the intestine’s nerve cells in women are more sluggish and that they also tend to have higher rates of estrogen and progesterone which can also slow down the gut.
So when do most people begin noticing the symptoms of IBS? It is most common for symptoms to appear between the age of 20 and 30. Although there are always exceptions to this range of ages. In addition, your chances of developing IBS increase if you have a family member with IBS, if you have a history of stressful life events, or if you ever had an infection in your digestive tract.
Can certain things trigger IBS?
Yes. While food tends to be the main trigger for IBS, flare-ups can also be caused by stress, anxiety, antibiotics, some antidepressants, and multitasking while eating. Some foods that commonly trigger IBS are carbonated beverages, fried foods, fatty foods, dairy products, and large meals. The solution? Try to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle.
When should you talk to your doctor?
If you find yourself struggling with IBS symptoms and notice flare-ups related to the listed triggers, then you might have undiagnosed IBS. However, IBS symptoms are also shared by several other colon-related disorders so it is always best to talk about any concerns with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.
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