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Sensitive Stomach? Lourdes Gastroenterologist Advises IBS Sufferers to Think Twice About What They Eat This Holiday Weekend
Date:5/23/2013

Camden, New Jersey (PRWEB) May 23, 2013

If you are one of the estimated 60 million Americans suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the food spread this Memorial Day weekend could put a damper on your holiday fun.

“While hot dogs and ice cream have become cornerstones of the American picnic plate during the warm weather months, IBS sufferers often feel the painful effects of consuming these trigger foods,” says Deborah Sokol, MD, a gastroenterologist with Lourdes Medical Associates.

IBS occurs when the large intestine (bowel) does not function properly and contracts faster or slower than normal, resulting in abdominal pain or discomfort, along with diarrhea, constipation, or both. It is estimated that between 10 to 20 percent of the population has IBS at some time, and the debilitating condition accounts for 20 to 50 percent of visits to gastroenterologists each year.

IBS often starts in teens or young adults, but it can occur at any age and is often associated with stress. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 80 percent of IBS patients in the United States are women.

IBS is diagnosed when a person has abdominal pain or discomfort at least three times per month for three consecutive months without other disease or injury that could explain the pain. The pain or discomfort of IBS may occur with a change in stool frequency or consistency or may be relieved by a bowel movement.

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Cramping pain in your lower abdomen
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation, or bouts of both
  • Immediate need to move your bowels when you wake up or during or after meals
  • Relief of pain after bowel movements
  • Feeling of incomplete emptying after bowel movements
  • Mucus in your stool

It is unknown exactly what causes IBS, and the intes
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