Take Control of IBS
Get Freedom from your Symptoms

Take Control of IBS Article Image

Is your digestive system so temperamental you're afraid to travel? Or do frequent bloating, cramps and unpredictable bowel movements force you to stay close to a restroom at all times? “If so, you may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common intestinal disorder that causes cramps, diarrhea, gas, bloating and constipation,” said Dr. Satish Rao, Director of the Georgia Regents Digestive Health Center.

Although help is available, embarrassment causes many with IBS to suffer in silence rather than seek treatment.

What you can do:
•    See a digestive specialist as soon as symptoms appear. A digestive specialist will know what treatments are best for you. And since the signs of IBS may mimic those of a serious disease, it's important to rule out any underlying disorder.
•    Write down the foods that seem to bring on symptoms and discuss your findings with your doctor. Once you identify food triggers, scale back your intake. Common culprits are dairy products, caffeine, beans, cabbage, fat and alcohol. Many of the nutrients you need may be in the foods you are avoiding, so be sure to make healthy substitutions.
•    Limit spicy foods.
•    Eat smaller meals. Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea, so try eating a few small meals throughout the day.
•    Control stress. Because of the brain-bowel connection, high tension levels can trigger IBS symptoms. To unwind, go for a daily walk, talk with a friend, dust off an old hobby or listen to music.

Think you have IBS?
The Georgia Regents Digestive Health Center is here to help, offering the region’s most advanced diagnostic tests and treatments. To make an appointment now, call 706-721-9522 or visit gru.edu/digestivehealth.