Other issues in IBS
Does IBS affect pregnancy? Can I pass it on to my children?
Although IBS symptoms can fluctuate with female sex hormones during the menstrual cycle, there is no evidence to date that indicates that IBS is a barrier to conceiving or pregnancy. Neither is there any evidence to suggest that IBS will worsen following birth. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation are common during pregnancy, regardless of whether you have IBS or not. If you wish to take medications to manage these symptoms, discuss this with your doctor assome medications are not recommended during pregnancy. Evidence to date tells us that IBS aggregates in families, however, the extent of genetic contribution and the identification of ‘risk’ genes is poorly understood.
Research to date has found no obvious link between smoking and IBS. Although some studies have observed that smoking is associated with a greater likelihood of having IBS, many studies have not found this. Aside from any link to IBS, smoking can cause sixteen different types of cancers and is associated with countless health issues (e.g., cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness). Quitting smoking is one of the best things you could possibly do for your health and well-being – see www.quit.org.au for further advise
There is no evidence to indicate that IBS causes cancer. Regardless, the risk of colorectal cancers increases with age, and can share signs and symptoms with IBS. It is important to monitor change in your symptoms, discuss these with your doctor, and participate in bowel cancer screening if you are in a higher risk category (e.g., over 50 years old; faecal occult blood test [FOBT]).