Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as spastic colon, is a condition in which the intestinal muscles go into spasm. It can be caused by food sensitivities, caffeine, and other stimulants including alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; malabsorption of sugars—the lactose in milk, high fructose content in fruit juices and dried fruit, and sorbitol and xyl-itol used in dietetic products; or as the result of a bacterial imbalance in the colon.

Symptoms include alternating diarrhea and constipation, distended colon, gas, pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Stress can exacerbate the condition. The most common food offenders are wheat and corn cereals, dairy, coffee, tea, chocolate, citrus fruits, onions, and potatoes. Eating a high fiber diet is recommended to help alleviate symptoms.

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