April is National Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. IBS is known as a “functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder”, which while uncomfortable, is not life threatening. It is estimated that 10-20% of the population suffers from IBS, with an average of about 1 to 2 bouts a year. The exact causes of IBS are not known, but it is a condition that shows up when there are abnormalities in the gastrointestinal system or when the body lacks some specific organic pathology, leading to abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. If you are experiencing frequent episodes of bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain or nausea, it is time to consult your physician. Those who suffer from IBS have described the pain as cramp-like, stabbing, or sharp. An accurate, but early diagnosis is the best way to implement a plan of attack.