Up to 45 million people living in the United States suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although IBS is common, patients are often stigmatized and misunderstood, and their symptoms have a significant impact on their quality of life.
Guidelines for Living with IBS
- Don’t spend time and worry about what your symptoms may or may not mean. Start by getting a definite diagnosis from your doctor.
- Take an active role in your own health care. Learn all you can about IBS to understand the nature of the disorder and different management and treatment options.
- Try to identify things that seem to make your symptoms worse and work on reducing their impact. Keep a symptom and food diary.
- Investigate non-medication treatments that may help reduce symptoms, like diet, exercise, and relaxation training.
- Be sure to tell your doctor about anything you take to treat your IBS. Find a health care provider who will work with you over the long term to help you manage and treat IBS.