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How can fat trigger digestive problems in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
Fat -- especially saturated fat -- can trigger cramping in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and the sudden need to have a bowel movement and diarrhea by stimulating the release of chemical messenger molecules that promote gut contractions. Furthermore, bloating and distention can be triggered by fat. Finally, fat can also aggravate nausea, heartburn (GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease) and dyspepsia by slowing stomach emptying and aggravating gastroesophageal reflux.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

Fast Facts on IBS: One in five people suffers from the frustrating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is no simple answer--no pill, potion, or quick fix--that will cure IBS. But help...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.