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Misconceptions About Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects 10 percent to 15 percent of people in the United States but is misunderstood by many patients and doctors, says Dr. William D. Chey, a gastroenterologist at the University of Michigan Health System.

Symptoms of IBS include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. To help people with IBS gain a better understanding of the condition, Chey offered the following information about the condition:

IBS does not exist in the patient's head. While psychological distress or stress can make IBS worse, they're not the primary cause of the condition in most cases.
IBS occurs more frequently in women but "it's important that people know that there are many men diagnosed with IBS, and it also affects the elderly.
IBS can have a significant negative effect on quality of life and the ability to function on a day-to-day basis, and should be taken seriously by both doctors and patients.
Lactose intolerance may play a role in some cases of IBS, but it's not the cause of symptoms in the vast majority of people.

Most people with IBS don't need to limit themselves to bland diets. Chey recommended that patients keep a diary of the food they eat and IBS symptoms. "At the end of a two-week period, it's possible to get a fairly good idea about whether there are specific trigger foods associated with the onset of symptoms. Those foods then can be easily eliminated from a patient's diet," he said. Chey noted that fatty foods, milk products, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks are more likely to aggravate IBS symptoms.

Thanks Chey, for your guidelines, "patients diary" its great idea.

| Tags: Digestive, Men's Health, Stress, Women's Health |

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