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Women's Health Care

Did You Know Women Are 2x More Likely to Have IBS Than Men?

Woman framing her stomach with her hands
Woman framing her stomach with her hands

Kelsey Cheyne

Marketing Director, Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF)

The occasional bloat or watery poop is nothing to worry about. But if consistent belly pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation are getting in the way of you living your best life — you could have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

The good news — IBS is manageable. Each person may be different in terms of what works and what doesn’t! 

1. First, try changing up your diet

Try slowly increasing dietary fibre by two to four grams per day to promote soft, painless stools and drink six to eight glasses of fluids per day.

2. Break up with stress

The gut and the brain are constantly communicating with each other, often leading to the first onset of symptoms or aggravating symptoms you’re already having.

3. Try the low FODMAP diet

A diet that reduces the intake of high FODMAP foods and manages the total FODMAP load at each meal may help to relieve your IBS symptoms. 

4. Test out a probiotic

If other dietary strategies haven’t been successful in relieving your symptoms, a probiotic may be helpful. 

It’s important to note that there are medications approved in Canada for IBS (over the counter or prescription) that can help your symptoms. Speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or dietician about what could be helpful for you.

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