An irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptom journal can help you and your doctor figure out what triggers your IBS, and how to deal with those triggers.
Fill this out as soon as you experience symptoms. Print extra copies to have on hand.
Remember, a variety of factors can set off IBS: Certain types of food, the volume of food, stress, medicines, your menstrual cycle, and your environment.
You may find, for instance, that you tend to feel bloated after eating snacks during office meetings. Knowing...
People with alternating IBS symptoms should not try to treat themselves, says J. Patrick Waring, MD, a gastroenterologist at Digestive Health Care of Georgia.
"They should not take something for their constipation on their own, and then when they get diarrhea, take something for their diarrhea, and go back and forth," he says. "That can actually exacerbate the problem."
J. Patrick Waring, MD, gastroenterologist, Digestive Health Care of Georgia.
Medscape.com: "Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome," and "Consensus Report: Clinical Trial Guidelines for Pharmacological Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome."
American College of Gastroenterology.