(HealthDay News) -- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) occurs when the intestines squeeze too hard -- or not hard enough -- as food passes through. Symptoms may include diarrhea or constipation, bloating, and a feeling that you still need to pass a stool, despite having recently passed one.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to help control IBS symptoms:
- Limit fats in your diet, and stick to a variety of healthy foods.
- Boost dietary fiber or take a fiber supplement.
- Avoid foods that seem to trigger your IBS symptoms.
- Drink lots of water each day.
- Break your meals into six smaller ones, instead of three big meals.
- Don't use laxatives to treat constipation. Their use can weaken the intestines and make your body dependent on them.
- Learn and adopt stress management techniques.
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