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There is no single management plan for everyone. Management of the condition will depend on the individual person’s symptoms, potential triggers and lifestyle.

You should keep a diary of what you eat and your symptoms for a month. This will help identify potential irritating foods, which you can then look to reduce or eliminate from your diet.

General tips on how to relieve symptoms irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):

  • Cook homemade meals using fresh ingredients when you can
  • Avoid eating processed, oily or spicy foods. Avoid excessive intake of caffeine, alcohol or fizzy drinks
  • Eat meals at regular intervals and do not skip or delay meals. Also eat slowly and chew food thoroughly
  • Reduce stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try probiotic supplements
  • Use medications containing antispasmodics (such as Colofac, Colpermin, Senocalm or Buscopan) to relieve stomach cramps and pain
  • Use medications containing anti-flatulents such as Windeze to relieve trapped wind and bloating
  • If you get constipation or diarrhoea associated with your IBS you should manage these individually through lifestyle (including diet) changes and medication.

You should see your GP if:


  • Your symptoms are not improving after a few weeks of making your lifestyle changes and using medications
  • You need to avoid lots of different foods to control your symptoms
  • You have blood in your stools
  • You have extreme pain in your stomach or bowel
Authored Nov 04, 2020 by Prabjeet Saundh
Reviewed Nov 04, 2020 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

The exact cause of IBS is still not known. It has been linked to things like family history of IBS, stress and food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly.

The things that trigger IBS episodes may vary from one person to to other, generally however triggers include:

  • Eating too quickly
  • Skipping meals
  • Eating certain foods such as fatty, spicy or processed meals
  • Changing hormones
  • Stress
  • Taking certain medications
Authored Nov 04, 2020 by Prabjeet Saundh
Reviewed Nov 04, 2020 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the stomach and bowel. It affects women more often than men. Symptoms of IBS may vary from one person to the other, however they generally include:

  • Stomach cramps and discomfort
  • Bloating and excessive wind
  • Changes in bowel habit such as diarrhoea or constipation (and sometimes a mixture of both)

Symptoms normally come and go in episodes, which can last for days, weeks or months at a time. IBS does not have a cure and therefore is a lifelong problem. Therefore the aim of treatment is to manage the condition and reduce the occurrence of episodes through lifestyle changes and medication.

Authored Nov 04, 2020 by Prabjeet Saundh
Reviewed Nov 04, 2020 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

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