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What’s New 8 Factors That Increase Your Risk For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

8 Factors That Increase Your Risk For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that normally starts in early adulthood and affects 20% of the population, yet no one really knows what causes it. It’s perplexing for sure since we don’t know exactly why someone experiences the symptoms, but we can learn about 8 factors that increase your risk for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Symptoms Of IBSWoman with IBS

IBS affects the large intestine causing abdominal pain, gas, bloating, cramping, and bouts of diarrhea and/ or constipation. The symptoms can be continual, or stop and start over time and vary in severity.

The Factors Increasing Your Risk For IBS

Being A Woman

There are lots of fun things about being a girl, but being twice as likely to have irritable bowel syndrome is definitely not one of them. Although the reason isn’t known exactly, it may have something to do with hormones.

Your Age

Normally those who have their first bout of IBS are between their teen years and during their forties. If you haven’t experienced those symptoms by then, you may not have to deal with irritable bowel syndrome.

Stress And How You Deal With It

Researchers don’t believe stress actually causes IBS, but it can increase the frequency and severity of the symptoms. It seems to be linked to those who have had a traumatic event in their life. This could include domestic abuse or sexual abuse.

Family History

Like many other things, if your parents or other close relatives had symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, then you are likely to develop it.

Sensitivity To Certain Foods

If you have trouble digesting certain foods like wheat and dairy, you are at a higher risk to develop IBS.  In addition, fructose found in fruits, carbonated drinks, fatty foods, sorbitol (sugar substitute), and alcohol can all trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Mixing Eating And Stress

Many of us do this on a regular basis. If you are the kind of person who scarfs down food while you’re doing something else, especially if it’s stressful, it can trigger IBS. In addition, eating very large meals can increase the risk.

Certain Medications

Taking antidepressants and antibiotics seems to increase the incidence of IBS.

Digestive Issues

It has been found that if someone experienced traveler’s diarrhea, they are likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome. Traveler’s diarrhea and e-coli come from mishandled and contaminated foods. A food poisoning attack can also make it more likely that you will experience your first IBS attack.

There are ways to manage the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you are experiencing any of them, contact one of our specialists today by calling (630) 434-9312.


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Digestive Health Services, SC is a gastroenterology practice with four board certified and highly trained physicians.