Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is quickly becoming one of the most common gastrointestinal problems, affecting at least 20% of adults. IBS usually begins to affect young adulthood very rarely affecting anyone over the age of 50.

IBS just means that the intestinal system doesn’t work like normal and causes abdominal pain, heartburn or diarrhea and constipation. Gastroenterologists still aren’t sure why certain people develop IBS. Sometimes it can occur after an infection in the intestines, but are can be other unknown triggers as well.

Stress is one trigger that gastroenterologists have found. The intestine is connected to the brain and signals move back and forth between the bowel and brain. During more stressful times the nerves often become more active and this causes the intestines to be more sensitive and contract.

Follow these tips to help minimize IBS flare-ups:

Avoid any things that you know will cause pain or discomfort; caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are some of the most common triggers.

Try to limit carbonated drinks and chewing gas because they cause gas.

Eat slowly to allow your body to digestive foods properly.

Get out and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

You don’t have to live with the frustration and pain that IBS causes. As many as 75% of people who suffer from IBS don’t talk with their doctor or get properly diagnosed. It’s important to talk with a doctor to make sure there are no underlying problems, plus your gastroenterologist can run tests to diagnose IBS and help you find ways to manage IBS.

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