Did you know there are approximately 25 to 45 million people in the United States living with irritable bowel syndrome? Of that number, two out of three of them are women.

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah wants to share some insight about this common condition and steps you can take to prevent it.

What Exactly Is IBS?

IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a condition that impacts the large intestine. Someone with IBS may experience a wide range of symptoms, including cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation.

So, what causes IBS? A number of things, actually.

Causes of IBS

  • Abnormal movements of the colon and small intestines
  • Hypersensitivity to pain, usually from a full bowel or gas
  • Food sensitivities
  • Stomach flu
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Genetics
  • Small intestinal bacterial growth

Why Does Exercise Make IBS Worse?

Well, that’s a bit tricky to answer. In some cases, yes, strenuous exercise may exacerbate IBS and worsen symptoms.

However, in most cases, regular exercise can actually help alleviate symptoms and even keep them from occurring in the first place. There are also other steps you can take to effectively manage IBS.

Treatment of IBS

  • Use anti-diarrheal medication or a laxative, depending on symptoms.
  • Increase fiber intake.
  • Take a probiotic.
  • Learn how to better manage stress.
  • Manage your diet to avoid triggers.

Wondering whether your symptoms are caused by IBS? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah today for a medical evaluation and treatment plan!