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How to manage irritable bowel syndrome?

Q: I am suffering from upset stomach for the last few years. The only problem is that I have to go to the toilet 2-3 times in the morning and then once during the day. Sometimes I have an urge the whole day. I have never had any pain or loss of appetite. Sometimes the wind that I pass has a foul smell and occasionally my breath smells foul too. My dentist has said that there is nothing wrong with my teeth and it has something to do with my stomach. Can you please advise me.

A:Your symptoms sound very much like those of irritable bowel syndrome. As your symptoms have gone on for a few years and you are well - it means that your condition is not serious. Going to the toilet often is common in this condition. The person feels that he cannot empty his bowels completely and then when he does go to the toilet - he wants to go again! Usually this is in the mornings and sometimes there is urgency and you have to run to the toilet. It is often associated with a bloated stomach and a lot of wind. This is often worse if you are anxious or worried. Most of the wind that you pass probably is what you have swallowed from your mouth - rather than being produced by your gut. The smell of the wind can sometimes be helped by changing your diet but usually some people have very smelly wind whilst in others the wind does not smell so much! There are various tablets that you can take (ask your doctor) but most patients feel better on being reassured. I hope this has been helpful.

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