Diet and lifestyle changes can help with IBS. Photo: Thinkstock
IBS: What you need to know
IBS symptoms are twice as common in females as males. Indicators include abdominal pain; bloating or cramping that’s often relieved by passing wind or a bowel movement; mucus in the stools; alternating diarrhoea and constipation; a sensation that the bowels aren’t fully emptied after using the toilet; and nausea.
Is it really IBS?
Your GP should be your first point of call if you suspect an oncoming case of IBS. Its symptoms are common among other illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease or polyps. Coeliac disease and lactose intolerance are also often mistaken for mild cases of IBS. Be aware that blood in bowel motions is not a cause of IBS, so immediately alert your doctor. For more info, visit ibis-australia.org.
IBS in the long term
IBS doesn’t cause long-term damage or contribute to the development of serious bowel conditions such as cancer or colitis.
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