Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Australia: What We Know

Irritable bowel syndrome may not be well understood, but as we know it is common with over 200,000 reports a year. It is known as IBS, which is an intestinal disorder. Irritable bowel syndrome can have the same symptoms as other body issues that are short-lived, however, with irritable bowel syndrome the symptoms would be reoccurring. Some of the most common things to take note would be abdominal pain along with bloating, diarrhea, or even constipation.

IBS in Australia

Many Australians manage their symptoms by taking a natural route such as changing their diet, lifestyle changes like exercise, and even cutting back on the stress that they encounter. However, this doesn’t always work for everyone, and medication along with medical advice is needed. Some self-care steps can include adding a high fiber diet to make sure that your digestive system is functioning at it’s best, and daily physical exercise is helpful.

Irritable Bowel Diet

Symptoms and treatment

According to research stress can be hard to manage, but relaxation techniques or even Yoga have been shown to help those that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If medication is needed there is a wide range of options. If one suffers from constipation then laxatives are needed, but if you suffer from the opposite then there is also medication for those who suffer from diarrhea. Nerve pain medications, antibiotics, and dietary supplements are other medications that are commonly offered for relief.

Foods to avoid

There are foods that can make IBS worse, which includes caffeine, chocolate, carbonated drinks, fried and fatty foods, along with eating too large of portions. You can live with IBS and feel normal most of the time and only have attacks or a flare-up whenever you a triggered by certain things. It is best to limit or avoid dairy products, processed foods, caffeine, high protein diets, and bread whenever you have a flare-up. Drinking plenty of water and slowly increasing your fiber intake is found to be helpful. Some foods that are healthy but because they cause gas should be avoided. Some examples of these foods are onions, broccoli, and cabbage. Eating hot and cold foods and drinks at the same time can also be irritating.

What triggers IBS

Even some medications like antibiotics and some antidepressants can be triggers. Since every person is different so will the triggers, and it is best to discover what your individual trigger is and talking with your healthcare professional to pinpoint your triggers. Doctors are not sure what causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome but there are some things that can increase your risk. Being a woman increases your chances of having IBS because about twice as many women suffer from IBS than men.

Risk factors

Age is another factor with the average age ranging from teenage years to those in their 40s. Family history is another thing to look at since this condition seems to run in families, meaning that your genes may play a part in it. If you suffer from emotional troubles, high stress can increase your risk. Food sensitivities and certain medications also play a part in some cases of IBS. It has also been noted that food poisoning can even trigger first time IBS symptoms. With people that suffer from IBS have different triggers they will also have different treatments depending on what triggers them.

Alternative treatments

There is even alternative IBS treatment such as acupuncture, oils, supplements, herbs, and even probiotics are a popular treatment. Some patients have even gone as far as therapy and hypnosis for IBS. Being hypnotized has been shown to improve emotional quality by as much as 30 percent. If left untreated there can be complications that arise from those who suffer from IBS. Impacted bowel from being constipated for a long time, malnourishment from cutting back on trigger foods, and even hemorrhoids. Flare-ups can happen suddenly can affect your quality of life so being aware and prepared for when it does happen can help you.

Seek professional help

Medical advice is needed and a healthcare professional can work with you during your journey. Connecting with others that suffer from the same condition can also be beneficial. Even though there isn’t a cure for those who suffer from Irritable bowel syndrome, there is treatment and ways to manage the symptoms. It is a learning curve that takes practice as you discover what works and doesn’t work for you.

Published by Archer Fowler

My special interests: erectile dysfunction, urology, male health, alopecia.

Join the Conversation


  1. My irritable bowel syndrome story has had lots of twist and turns. I have had a long period of being diagnosed and sometimes misdiagnosis. Sometimes the misdiagnosis made things very difficult as I didn’t find relief from those treatments. Eventually after immense research and consulting different doctors and specialist, I finally gained enough confidence to understand what I should do to find out what I need to do to help myself. Now my IBS is being treated with a good regimen of medicine and diet that has helped me live a normal life. Sometimes it is hard to keep the same relief and I often have to try out different treatments and medicines but overall it has been a rewarding experience to finally have remission from most of my symptoms.

  2. Many people suffer from IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome that causes sever stomach pain and diarrhea. Among many is a 40 year old that shared his/her story. The name a gender of the person is not specified. For this patient it all start in 2008, while they were in high school. They knew something wasn’t right when their stomach started rumbling after their snack. They got diagnosed in their mid-20s and wants to make it known that if you are struggling with IBS or anything similar. You are not alone. Managing and treating IBS is hard but possible.

  3. I’m 30 years old and I was diagnosed with IBS about two years ago. I was at a nice family cookout in July and, as always, I was scarfing down my dad’s famous hot dogs. Soon after, I began to notice a pain in my stomach that got worse as time went by. Uncontrollable gas followed shortly after and I soon found myself in the bathroom for about half an hour. Needless to say, it was an embarrassing situation. This continued as the days went by and I finally mustered up the courage to talk to my doctor about what was going on. It wasn’t something I could easily tell my wife, but she along with the rest of the family have been very supportive and we’re treating this together as a family. It’s definitely become more controllable and I’m very thankful I decided to see my doctor and get the help I needed.

  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been my bane and I had to go to a family dinner that was out of state and my IBS made driving there very uncomfortable with only very limited intermittent bathroom breaks.

  5. I finally found a treatment that works to help my Irritable Bowel Syndrome but it was a long road to get there. I felt helpless for a long time because nothing seemed to work and I was in a lot of discomfort and pain. It’s also a very embarrassing disease to have. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I have finally found a treatment that works for me and I get little to no side effects. I feel very lucky in dealing with this unfortunate disease. Never lose hope.

  6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been a major part of my life ever since I can remember. It affects my social life as I do not like to be anywhere unless I know that I am close to a bathroom that won’t be crowded. I try and be very careful what I eat so that I do not trigger an episode but it seems to come on for reasons that I can’t quite figure out yet.

  7. I am a caregiver and I had a regular patient who constantly had Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS). Just for reference, my patient is 85 and does not walk outside of her house. She is wheelchair restricted and spends a good amount of time sitting on her living room chair. On really bad days of IBS, I would have to sit with her for more than an hour while she tried using her commode to go. Some days, my patient would have large amounts of stool and on other days, she would have just the teeniest amount. However, she always felt better after getting to the bathroom. There are medications that she takes that sometimes help her- it just depends on a variety of things and what she ate drink. She would always drink coffee to help her!

  8. IBS can make life absolutely unlivable. There’s no way to know if today will be the day everything comes out as burning diarrhea, or the day when nothing moves at all and people ask if you’re pregnant from the retained matter. The meds don’t really help, and the diet is useless if you have any other health issues.

  9. I was finally diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome after 28 years of pain. I never understood why, after going out with my friends to eat, I always experienced abdominal pain and bloating when they could just eat whatever they wanted. After speaking with my doctor, I learned about my food triggers of dairy products and wheat and am living a much better life.

  10. -I’m a 22 year old student who just recently discovered I had IBS due to my Endometriosis after 5 months of consistent abdomen pain
    -After visiting a Gastroenterologist and a Gynecologist concurrently, we realized my that constipation symptoms (which forced me to take laxatives just to go regularly) were related to IBS-C
    -I had five months of cramp-like pain in my lower abdomen I went to the ER twice thinking I had appendicitis, all to find out from scans that I was just severely constipated
    -Bowel movements are often few and far between and also extremely compact and hard, very difficult to pass and the pain always gets significantly worse leading up to my menstrual cycle
    -Now I have been working on lessening the symptoms of my Endo (by taking hot baths and using a hot compress) along with drinking probiotics, a lot of water, and eating a high fiber diet
    -Probiotic yogurt seems to be helping the best!

  11. IBS controls my life… it’s finally great to be able to put a label on the constant pain I feel every day, but it doesn’t eliminate my need to be careful about everything that I eat. Whether it’s dairy, or eggs, or gluten… IBS has started to control my life and the joy that I get from eating wonderful foods. If I choose to ignore it… instant stomach ache and diarrhea… I’m tired of spending hours every day sitting on the toilet.

  12. I am 31 years old and I was diagnosed with IBSD after several years of having stomach problems and never finding a reason. Even as a teenager I had issues, but was never actually diagnosed, despite going to the doctor several times for symptoms. I do not know why it took so long to get a diagnosis. It has a huge impact on my life. My employer has to be understanding because I need so many bathroom breaks. It interrupts time with my friends and family. It is also very embarrassing when using a public restroom or at a friend’s house. It is often triggered by stress and a stressful time is the worst time to have to be stuck in the bathroom. That was an issue when my wife was in labor. I kept having to leave to go to the bathroom and almost missed the birth of my daughter. IBSD is a miserable condition. So far I have to been able to find very effective treatment or medication. I am just trying to get by and cope with this horrible problem. I hope that someday someone develops a good medication or treatment for it.

  13. Irritable Bowel Syndrome has done nothing but inconvenience me. I have been struggling with this disorder for 13 years. I have found ways to deal with my pain. It is possible to cope, do not ever lose hope!

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