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Have The Guts To Talk About IBS!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) awareness month falls in April each year. IBS is the most common disorder of the digestive system, with around 1 in 5 adults in the UK thought to have the condition. It may be even more common than this, because not everyone seeks medical advice for their symptoms. Women are more likely than men to have IBS and it can develop at any age, but is most common for symptoms to start in your 20s or 30s.

No single cause has been identified for IBS, but it often seems to be triggered by either an infection of your stomach or bowels (gastroenteritis), Inflammation resulting from another condition (inflammatory bowel disease) or taking medicines that can affect your bowel (antibiotics).

Symptoms include:

  • Constipation or diarrhoea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Abnormal bowel habits

  • Wind, bloating and distension (a widening of the firth of the abdomen)

  • Pooing mucus

  • Lethargy

  • Nausea

  • Backache

  • Bladder symptoms

You may find certain foods or drinks trigger symptoms. These often include fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression can also worsen symptoms. There are often many presumptions and misunderstandings when it comes to IBS - not every illness is visible and you don’t have to look a certain way to have IBS. Raising awareness of the condition not only allows sufferers to feel comfortable talking about it to their peers, but also it highlights the signs and symptoms of IBS so you can recognise when you may need to seek help from your GP. If you’ve been getting symptoms like those described above for several weeks, you should make an appointment to see GP., where they may want to do some tests to rule out other causes of your symptoms.

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