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Conditions

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Doctor examining a patient with suspected IBS

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They say you should always establish your nearest fire exits whenever entering a new building. But for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), it is usually the nearest toilet facilities. IBS is one of the most common disorders of the digestive tract, with about a fifth of people in the UK experiencing occasional symptoms, which can include abdominal pain, bloating, and bouts of diarrhoea and/or constipation. The abdominal pain is usually accompanied by the loud rumbling and squeaking of gases being propelled through the intestines, which can be a great source of discomfort and embarrassment. People between the ages of 20 and 30 are most commonly affected, but it is twice as common in women as in men. The exact cause of IBS is unknown. However, there are certain things which can trigger an attack, such as stress, irregular mealtimes and, in some cases, a lack of dietary fibre. Some people even develop IBS following gut infections and food poisoning.

There is some evidence to suggest that certain types of yoga may help alleviate the symptoms of IBS. You can watch a yoga video tutorial for IBS here >

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

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Hi I have have had this problem for quite a few years I get a horrible feaces smell from my body and I cant get rid of it does any one know how to stop this





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Iam 32 now and suffer from fybromyliga and a sufferer of ibs downside for me is the pain i get every time i go to the toilet i do get diarrea and constipation one after the other i take colpermin ibs relief capulets it dose cause a lot of stress for me as i struggle to ealk with my fybro so do tend to catch myself so do use tenna pads to help what else can i do to help with my ibs as i do watch what and how much i eat xx





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Hi, I am 24 years old and I was told I had IBS three years ago. I can not stop going to the toilet, I go for a poo at less 4-6 times a day and I have lost a lot of weight and finding it hard to live my life. I go to the doctors and they say there is nothing they can do but I get so much pain with it. I have been into hospital so many times with it and they keep me in but they say they can't help aswell. So I feel like I am not getting anyway with this. I do work and my boss is very understanding with what I have but it makes me feel horrible. Me and my partner are always fighting over this because it isn't easy having a girlfriend with IBS, we both find it hard as I can't go out some times and I worry if there isn't a toilet around.I really would like some help. I have started a diet where I don't eat gluten wheat or dairy but still don't seem to be helping. So would like to try and get some help and get my life back. Thank you.





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I Am 57 year male I have suffered severe stomach pain for at least 15 year pain only at night had 5 endoscopy doctor confirmed inflammatory condition ibs no medication helps or eases lots of wind and non stop rumbling can't sleep any more than 2 to 3 hours





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I have had ibs for many years now and its got to the stage where i can very rarely go out of the house. It has now caused me to suffer panick attacks and depression. I use loperamide which my doctor prescribes. is there anything else i can try no matter what i eat or drink it passes straight through. thank you sian





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When I am about to have sex and get wet i keep farting and i don't know why? It even happens after sex i'm not sure what it is called but its like vaginal farting. Please help me as I feel as though I cannot be with anyone as it is too embarrassing.





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I am a 28 year old male. For the last 8 years I suffer from severe stapping abdomen pain. I went through 100 of tests that came back negative. I got the pain if I eat or not. They removed my appendix and the problem still there. The pain stays always just in the right. The docter said it may be ibs, and they put met on sertane diets to help assist. But did the diets for 2 years and absolutely did nothing to help with this pain





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I have had ibs for 22 years although lately the pains are worse I have accidents where by I cant control my boweli have recently had a scan and ben told I ave fatty liver and slightly inflamed liver waiting on an endoscopy I am at my wits end I ask a doctor wll what o I eat he just smiles im pretty desperate to say the I do hop you can help me kind regards





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i have had IBS for many years and it has taken over my life. I would love to be spontaneous but fear of having an accident scares me. I have a forthcoming wedding in Zimbabwe in October, I should be excited and looking forward to a life time experience but, I'm not because of my IBS. When I need the loo I have little time to reach facilities begore it's too late! Please, please can anyone help me. My best friend at the moment is Imodium but, even she isn't always on my side.





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Hi, my name is Laura. I was diagnosed with ibs around a year ago now maybe just over. At first I thought the symptoms I was getting (loose bowels or constipation all the time) was side effects from my tablets that I was on at the time as I had never experienced anything like this before unless I had siffered with an upset tummy from a bug or something. I don't really suffer with cramps or tummy pains just flit from loose bowels to constipation daily and I never seem to go for just a normal poo!!! It's very frustrating and I do worry that it is not normal and it is something worse. I do no to look out for blood and if I ever had thy I would be bye aight back to the doctors anyway but with no certainty of ibs then how do we know if it's nothing worse going on inside! Can anyone put my mind at ease? :-) Laura (23)





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic (long-term) disorder that affects the digestive system. It causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation. Read More »

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