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Webmaster | 12. April 2009 @ 13:00

There are two basic types of irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea include abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and frequent, loose or watery stools. To define frequent, you must look at what is normal for the individual. The number of bowel movements that a person has varies greatly. Some people have three movements per day, while others may have only three per week. A change in the frequency of bowel movements that is accompanied by abdominal pain often leads physicians to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation also include abdominal pain, discomfort and/or bloating, but the stools are hard or difficult to pass and movements are less frequent than what is normal for the individual. In a few cases, people with irritable bowel syndrome symptoms experience constipation at times and diarrhea at other times. Abdominal pain can be a symptom of a number of other medical conditions and should be evaluated by a physician. If a bowel movement relieves the pain, then the physician may determine that the abdominal pain is associated with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

The exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are unknown, but patients can often determine what triggers the symptoms by keeping a foods and symptoms journal; noting what foods or beverages were consumed before the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome began. Products containing caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages may trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, though these products do not cause the condition. Food sensitivities often trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Some people are sensitive to wheat products; others are sensitive to milk products. And still others find that fructose, a simple sugar found in fruit and fruit juices triggers symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This is why a food and symptoms diary is helpful. By avoiding certain foods, some people are able to keep the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome under control.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to show up in people between the ages of 13 and 40, than in those over 50. Women are more likely to have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome than are men. This may indicate that irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are related to monthly changes in hormonal levels, but this is not certain. It seems that many people who suffer from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome also are suffering from stress or other emotional difficulties and because of this stress management or behavior therapies are sometimes recommended. In addition, a recent study showed that hypnotic therapy was effective in controlling irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

The causes and triggers of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms vary greatly among individuals. Treatment plans vary as well. Some prescription medications and herbal remedies may be helpful over the short term, but dietary and lifestyle changes are typically necessary to keep the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome under control for extended periods of time.

For more information about irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

About The Author: Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a healthcare professional and currently writes informational articles for the Digestive Disorders Guide. Read more at http://www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

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