Q I've been told that I might have irritable bowel syndrome. What do you do to get some relief from this condition?
A. T., Tampa
A Irritable bowel syndrome, characterized by a group of symptoms (bloating, constipation, crampy abdominal pain and diarrhea), is one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors, with 1 in 5 Americans victimized by the condition. The disorder, which interferes with the normal function of the colon, occurs more often in women than men. And there are indications that reproductive hormones can exacerbate the problem.
Your doctor can give you specifics about your condition and suggest certain treatments. However, many people with the condition find that symptoms are prompted by eating certain foods, including wheat, rye, barley, chocolate, milk products and caffeine. Doctors say stress is also associated with worsening the symptoms.
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