Contributed by: Rachana Arya


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can affect anybody. It can present a number of challenges in your daily life. The good news is that there are multiple coping mechanisms that you can explore to take control of your condition, rather than your condition controlling you. 

Read on to understand your symptoms and triggers to identify any patterns of your condition.

FAQ #1: What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a medical condition that affects the function of the digestive system. Doctors are unsure exactly what IBS is or what causes it. Researchers do, however, have a few theories. It is primarily caused by:

  • Poor dietary choices
  • Consumption of foods that cause allergies
  • Excessive intake of difficult-to-digest food items
  • Consumption of low-nutrient foods
  • Overeating
  • Eating at irregular intervals

FAQ #2: What is the other cause of IBD apart from food?

A severe attack of diarrhea (gastroenteritis) caused by bacteria or a virus, may trigger the onset of IBS. Its occurrence may also be linked to an overabundance of microorganisms in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth). Hormonal changes among women may also cause the syndrome.

Given that IBS is a stress-sensitive disorder, physical and mental factors such as emotional problems like stress, loss of job, etc. can cause IBS. It has also been found that people exposed to stressful events tend to have more symptoms of IBS.

FAQ #3: What foods trigger irritable bowel syndrome?

There are some foods that commonly spark a cascade of symptoms for people with irritable bowel syndrome. These are:

  • High-fiber foods, such as cereals, grains, wholemeal bread, etc.
  • Gas-producing foods, like beans, lentils, onions, garlic, and beans
  • Carbonated and alcoholic beverages 
  • Pasta and processed foods
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower

FAQ #4: How do you if you have IBS?

The main symptoms of IBS are similar to many other gastrointestinal (GI) conditions like:

FAQ #5: Does irritable bowel ever go away?

Because IBS is a chronic ailment, it may take a long time to resolve. Medication, dietary modifications, and lifestyle changes, on the other hand, can help you manage your illness and lessen the number of episodes you have.  

FAQ #6: Does irritable bowel syndrome cause weight gain?

Weight loss or increase might occur as a result of IBS in certain people. Some people may feel severe stomach cramping and pain, causing them to consume lesser calories than they would ordinarily. Others may eat meals that are higher in calories than they require.

FAQ #7: Can you live a normal life with IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a long-term ailment that can be difficult to diagnose and debilitating to live with. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with IBS or have had it for years, a greater awareness of the various triggers, whether they’re related to nutrition, lifestyle, stress, or other variables, as well as knowing what therapies and changes to undertake, can help you live well with it.

FAQ #8: Can IBS make you feel tired and fatigued all the time?

Many people who have IBS report that they often feel that they lack energy and feel tired or exhausted. In one study, fatigue was found to be associated with other IBS symptoms such as bowel-related symptoms, psychological distress, and health-related quality of life. If you are experiencing deep, persistent feelings of fatigue, get in touch with your doctor.

FAQ #9: What happens if IBS goes untreated?

IBS is now referred to as functional bowel illness. IBS does not lead to more serious health issues like colitis or cancer. However, if left untreated, it can significantly impact the quality of life and result in pain and discomfort. 

FAQ #10: Does drinking water help with IBS?

Water intake may be linked to an improvement in IBS symptoms. Not drinking enough water will exacerbate the symptoms in IBS sufferers with constipation. Furthermore, drinking water is a popular recommendation for IBS-D patients who want to avoid dehydration caused by diarrhea and ease stomach distress.

FAQ #11: What does an IBS flare feel like?

More bad gut symptoms, such as stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are hallmarks during an IBS flare-up (also known as an “IBS attack”). A flare-up of IBS can last anywhere from a few hours to several months.

FAQ #12: How severe is the pain from IBS?

IBS pain can range in severity from mild and bothersome to severe and devastating. Unfortunately, the level of discomfort for some people might alter even within a single day, making it difficult to organize daily activities.

FAQ #13: Does an inflamed bowel go away?

No, IBD is not curable. When the disease is not active, there will be periods of remission. There are medicines that can lower inflammation and lengthen remission periods, but there is no cure.

FAQ #14: Can you use Ayurvedic medicine to treat IBS?

According to ancient Ayurvedic scriptures, Irritable bowel syndrome falls under the category of a certain disease called Grahani which is disturbed functioning of the bowels. The top 5 herbal tonics and supplements used to treat Grahani or IBS are:

  • Triphala
  • Chamomile
  • Aloe Vera
  • Ginger
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Turmeric

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