Dr. Rachel: If your life is full of abdominal discomfort, you might have IBS

NEW ORLEANS -- Do you have abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating or a feeling of being full of gas, with diarrhea or constipation?

Do you notice that your daily life is ruled by abdominal discomfort? Well you may have irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.

IBS is a disorder that causes abdominal discomfort or pain and trouble with your bowels. These symptoms can be horrible one day and better the next.

Our teaching doctor, Dr. Rachel Reitan, says the cause of IBS is unknown, but it can be triggered by a food allergy or intolerance.

Stress can aggravate IBS symptoms, and hormones could be a trigger as well.

Women are two times more likely to have IBS, and symptoms can be worse during their periods.

There is no cure for IBS, but there are treatments to help your symptoms and make you feel better.

So if you think you have irritable bowel syndrome, see your doctor who can help get the best treatment for you.

If you have any medical questions, email Dr. Rachel at drrachel@wgno.com.