Just saying irritable bowel syndrome is a reminder of how embarrassing the condition can be for those who deal with it, but you don't have to suffer in silence.
In Health Plus, what you can do to manage IBS and other digestive problems that impact your quality of life.
Certain foods, stress, even antibiotics are reported triggers of intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome.
And understandably something that causes pain, bloating and diarrhea can be embarrassing to talk about, but one doctor at Covenant Clinic in Waterloo says help is available.
"The hardest thing for the patients who have irritable bowel syndrome is that it has much affect on their quality of life and we're talking about their ability to work, their ability to do the things they need to do. These are the reasons why we treat," Covenant Clinic gastroenterologist Dr. Carline Quander said .
It's not clear what causes IBS, but ruling out other conditions can get you on the road to treating it.
"You can test gluten to rule that out if you happen to have more of a gluten intolerance or sensitivity or Celiac disease. You can test for lactose and the doctors can also test for a substance called fructose. It's a type of sugar," licensed dietitian Mary Steffensmeier said.
Dietary changes can help identify triggers.
"Wheat foods can be aggravating foods. There's other foods like onion, garlic that could bother. Things like beans that could bother. And then there's certain fruits that will aggravate people, too," said Steffensmeier.
So why should you stop looking for the nearest restroom and start talking with your doctor?
"If you're feeling like you have to run to the bathroom and it's effecting your ability to do whatever it is that you do, then those are the reasons that you should see a doctor. There's a lot of people who have IBS who kinda live with the symptoms," Dr. Quander said.
If you've been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, Covenant is offering an 8-week program for patients.
It starts August 13 at 5:30 p.m.
Meetings will be held at Kimball Ridge Center in Waterloo.
Call Mary at 319-272-2265 for more details.