Explanation: Women are at least twice as likely to experience IBS as men. Due to fluctuating levels of hormones, women are more likely to experience IBS symptoms during or around the time of their menstrual periods. Younger to middle-aged adults are most likely to experience IBS. In fact, half of all people with IBS will first develop symptoms before they are 35 years old, with 90% of IBS sufferers developing symptoms before age 50.
Which of the following conditions may lead to IBS?
A - Bacterial infection
B - Celiac disease
C - Jaw pain
D - Fibromyalgia
All of the above
A, B, and C only
None of the above
Explanation: Some experts believe that IBS may be caused by a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract. But other health conditions that can cause IBS symptoms include: celiac disease (intolerance of gluten from grains), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia (widespread bodily pain), and temporomandibular disorder (jaw pain and discomfort). In addition, psychological conditions, such as panic disorder, depression and anxiety have been associated with IBS and gastrointestinal distress.
True or False: Some people's bowels are highly sensitive, which can lead to IBS symptoms.
Explanation: Some peopleís bowels are just more sensitive. Although you canít change the sensitivity level of your large intestine, you can learn what commonly triggers your IBS symptoms, and try to avoid these triggers. Learn more about uncontrollable and controllable risk factors for IBS here.
Serotonin (a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages in the body) can affect IBS symptoms. Where is most of the body's serotonin located?
In the brain
In the spinal cord
In the gastrointestinal tract
In the stomach
Explanation: Ninety-five percent of the body's serotonin is located in the gastrointestinal tract. If levels of this important neurotransmitter are off balance, bowels problems and IBS symptoms can result.
Which of the following is NOT a controllable risk factor for IBS?
Eating small, frequent meals
Taking certain medications
Being stressed out
Lack of physical activity
Explanation: Eating small, frequent meals actually decreases your risk of experiencing IBS symptoms. In contrast, being overweight, eating certain "trigger" foods (such as alcohol, barley, caffeine, chocolate, coffee, milk products, rye, soda, and tea), eating large meals, taking certain medications, being overly stressed, and lack of physical activity can contribute to symptoms.
For people with IBS, which of the following statements is TRUE?
Always eat soluble fiber on an empty stomach.
Always eat insoluble fiber on an empty stomach.
Aim for 15 grams of fiber daily.
Increase your fiber quickly to avoid problems.
Explanation: Individuals with IBS should slowly increase their fiber to 25-35 grams per day by including a variety of grains such as wheat, rye, barley, oat, farro, kamut, couscous, soy, and quinoa. Always eat soluble fiber first, whenever your stomach is empty. Make soluble fiber foods the largest component of every meal and snack. Foods rich in soluble fiber include: oatmeal, pasta, rice, potatoes, French bread, sourdough bread, soy products, barley, and oat bran. Never eat insoluble fiber on an empty stomach, in large quantities at one sitting, or without soluble fiber. Foods rich in insoluble fiber include: wheat bran, whole grain products, and whole wheat products. To learn more, read Figuring Out the Facts on Fiber.
True or False: High-intensity exercise is a great stress reliever that can help decrease IBS symptoms.
Explanation: Gentle, moderate, and/or mind-body workouts like yoga, stretching, Pilates and walking are some of the best exercises for someone with IBS because they help reduce physical and mental stress. Yoga encourages deep, rhythmic breathing; stretching reduces the production of stress hormones; and Pilates connects the mind, body, and spirit, which can help you manage stress more effectively. High-intensity exercise can actually increase the body's stress response, so it's a good idea to keep your exercise intensity moderate. To learn more, read Fight IBS with Fitness.
True or False: Besides lifestyle changes, many alternative therapies have been shown to help with IBS symptoms.
Explanation: According the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are several complementary and alternative therapies that may be very effective at treating IBS. Research has shown meditation, psychotherapy, exercise, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and nutritional supplements to be effective. Learn more about these Alternative Therapies for IBS.
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