Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition where people experience pain or discomfort before, during or after having a bowel movement combined with constipation or diarrhea or both. It is a functional disorder characterized by abnormal motility and abnormal sensation that can significantly impact everyday life. IBS has been documented as the second most common cause of workplace absenteeism after the common cold.
The cause of IBS is still unknown. Intensive research continues around the world including here at the University of Calgary. While it cannot be cured, treatments focus on working with the patient to make dietary changes and symptomatic interventions such as laxatives or anti-diarrheal drugs and antispasmodic or neuromodulating drugs when pain is the major issue.
For helpful tips about diet and IBS from Alberta Health Services Registered Dietitian Kelly Sullivan, click here.