How does caffeine affect irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
Caffeine can trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) -- especially abdominal cramping and diarrhea -- as well as aggravate heartburn and dyspepsia. It does so by stimulating the gut directly; by stimulating the brain and heart, which contributes to anxiety; and by interfering with sleep. Many people do not realize that caffeine can cause or contribute to IBS, fibromyalgia, headache, jittery feelings, sleep disturbance, fatigue, malaise, irregular heartbeat, panic and anxiety attacks.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

One in five people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or other functional bowel disorders. As a result, irritable bowel syndrome is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism. This...

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Living With IBS

Living With IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is typically a chronic disorder. Many people with IBS lead restricted lives in multiple areas: diet, social activities, energy level and sense of well-being. Identifying and avoiding triggers, gettin...

g regular exercise and psychotherapy are all helpful in managing IBS in your daily life.
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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.