IBS, short for irritable bowel syndrome, is a highly common condition affecting the digestive system. It causes symptoms such as stomach pains, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation. These symptoms tend to come and go over time and can last for days, weeks, or months at a time.
IBS can be quite difficult to live with at it is known to impact a person’s quality of life. There is not yet a cure for this but a low fodmap diet is known to significantly reduce and cope with these symptoms. The exact root of the problem is unknown, but it has been linked to things like oversensitive nerves in the gut, stress, and a family history of IBS.
The main symptoms of IBS include: stomach pains or cramps which are usually worse after eating and get better after excreting, bloating of the stomach which may feel uncomfortable and swollen, diarrhoea, and constipation which feels like a strain to excrete and the bowels cannot empty completely.
Some other symptoms of IBS can include flatulence, tiredness or a lack of energy, nausea, backache, problems of peeing (such as needing to pee often or suddenly or feeling as if the bladder cannot be emptied completely), and incontinence (not being able to control when excrement happens).
Some other, more serious symptoms can include a significant amount of sudden weight loss, a hard lump or swelling in the stomach, shortness of breath, and pale skin. These could all be signs of something more serious.