The most common symptoms of an irritable bowel include stomach pain or cramps, a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation, bloating, and urgent need to have a bowel movement, according to the National Health Service. Additional symptoms may include fatigue, backache and bladder issues.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common, chronic digestive issue that affects individuals of all ages, says the National Health Service. Often, patients alternate between periods of time in which the symptoms are very uncomfortable with periods of time in which the symptoms are almost nonexistent.
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is still unknown, but many doctors believe it may be triggered by certain foods, states the National Health Service. The condition may also be caused by how the digestive system processes food, such as food passing through a bit too quickly or slowly. Doctors also believe there may be a psychological aspect of irritable bowel syndrome.
Patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome often manage their condition through diet and lifestyle changes. If they can determine what their trigger foods are, then it is best to avoid these foods. Patients may also find some relief by adding more fiber to their diet and by exercising frequently, explains the National Health Service.