Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal disorder. It acts as a catch-all diagnosis for symptoms of abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
IBS is defined by having abdominal pain or discomfort at least 1 day per week for the past 3 months. Symptoms improve after having a bowel movement and are often associated with a change in stool frequency or appearance.
Looking at this list of symptoms, its no wonder that more than 50% of people with IBS also are diagnosed with anxiety, depression, stress disorder, and/or panic disorder. 50%!
But which came first? This is another example of the gut-brain connection at work. Our gut influences our brain, and our brain influences our gut. The research on this connection is new though vast.
My most important take-away from the gut-brain connection is to nourish the gut and nourish the mind. Nourish the gut by eating healthy foods that your body tolerates. Nourish the mind by taking time for yourself every day. Do what you love, and do what your body needs. Sit. Breathe. Laugh. Sweat. Sleep. Move. Take time for you. Your body will thank you!