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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a chronic condition marked by stomach cramps, bloating, and upset stomach caused by specific foods or beverages. People with IBS often report diarrhea, constipation or alternating cycles of both. There is no known cause, but researchers have noted that people with a history of gastrointestinal infections are six times more likely to experience IBS. Women also have significantly higher diagnosis rates than men, though this may be due to underreporting of the condition by male patients. Management of the condition includes dietary alterations, changes to eating habits, introduction of fiber supplements, antidiarrheal drugs or laxatives, probiotics and increased levels of physical activity.