THERE ARE AN ESTIMATED
6 MILLION IBS SUFFERERS IN THE UK.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED
ABOUT YOUR SYMPTOMS,
IT'S IMPORTANT TO SEE YOUR GP
TO CONFIRM THE DIAGNOSIS
Irritable bowel syndrome
affects both men and women.
It tends to affect
more women than men.
It tends to affect younger women
rather than older women.
it's no respecter of age and sex.
It can affect anybody.
We might say that
we can all be predisposed
to getting irritable bowel syndrome
at certain times of our lives.
stressful times of our lives.
It's difficult to define exactly
causes of irritable bowel syndrome are
because irritable bowel syndrome
is a medically unexplained illness.
It's an illness, if you like,
without an obvious medical cause.
There's no infection,
no food allergy
but there are factors that seem
to bring irritable bowel syndrome on.
These include stress,
what's happening in your life,
and they include certain foods.
Often when people ask me about
the factors that bring on
irritable bowel syndrome,
I will say at it's foot and mood.
That's easy to remember.
The symptoms of irritable bowel
include constipation, diarrhoea,
alternating constipation and diarrhoea.
usually low down in the abdomen.
Bloating, feeling of distension.
Flatulence, belching even.
A gurgling in the stomach.
These are the cardinal symptoms
of irritable bowel
but many people with irritable bowel
have a lot of other symptoms.
They have backache,
they have a feeling that they want
pass water very frequently.
They may have breathlessness,
they may have headaches.
They may have dizziness.
So irritable bowel syndrome overlaps
with a lot of other
medically unexplained illnesses.
There are things you can do, of course.
But they tend to be symptomatic relief.
There are tablets you can take
for spasms in the bowel, for pain.
There are bowel regulators you can
for diarrhoea like Loperamide.
There are treatments for
there are treatments for bloating.
You can get these from your doctor
or you can get advice from your doctor.
You can find out by use of a food diary
which foods are more likely
to upset you.
I work for a charity
that used to be caught the IBS Network,
now called the Gut Trust.
And we have a website that has
a very comprehensive
If people log on to the Gut Trust,
become a member, go to the website,
they can find out all the details of
what irritable bowel syndrome is,
how to recognise it,
what symptoms you can expect
and how to manage these symptoms.
I find that's a very helpful tool
to encourage patients
to learn about their own condition
and that's the important thing.
FOR MORE INFORMATION,