Do you often find yourself scrambling to find a bathroom at the worst possible moment? Do you get anxious about traveling because you worry that your constipation will act up? Or maybe you try not to stray too far from home at all, for fear that you won’t find a bathroom? If so, you are not alone. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. In fact, studies estimate that 38-96 million Americans suffer from IBS, although only 5 to 7% have been diagnosed. Symptoms of IBS include frequent diarrhea, constipation—or both—gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.
IBS is a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain or discomfort and changes in bowel movement patterns. Doctors call IBS a “functional gastrointestinal disorder.” This means that the GI tract behaves doesn’t function properly, but does not show any physical damage.