If you have persistent gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating, and constipation -- the ABC symptoms -- you are not alone. These symptoms are common and could be part of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or chronic constipation (CC), health conditions that affect more than 20 million people.
IBS and CC are functional bowel disorders that are often painful and disruptive, affecting the function of sufferers' digestive systems. There are no tests to diagnose IBS or CC, but other common symptoms may include abdominal pain or discomfort;, bloating;, constipation, diarrhea, or both; or having the feeling of an unfinished bowel movement.
Many sufferers try to relieve their symptoms by taking over-the-counter fiber supplements or laxatives. For people with IBS or CC, these treatments may not relieve all their symptoms and may even make their symptoms worse.
If you suffer with the ABC symptoms and have been unable to find relief, speak to your doctor. Open communication with your doctor is very important --– that means talking openly about all of your symptoms, how the symptoms affect your life, and treatments you may have already tried, so you can find relief.