Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects one in five people in the UK. It is most common in women aged 20 to 40.
Recent research suggests that anyone suffering from IBS should avoid smoky atmospheres. Nerve endings in the bowel can be stimulated by nicotine, and even passive smoking can cause cramps, nausea and diarrhoea.
The main symptoms of IBS are bowel spasms, which cause abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. These symptoms can cause your weight to fluctuate by several pounds a day.
High fiber diets are often prescribed for IBS, although these are not routinely effective.
Stress is a major trigger for IBS as well as being a trigger for weight gain. Reducing stress will improve both.