(NC) Wondering if you ate something off or it’s something more? Irritable bowel syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can vary widely and change over time.

Common symptoms include abdominal pain, unpredictable bowel movements and bloating. Less obvious symptoms can be a lack of energy, backache or bladder problems.

Managing IBS can sometimes seem as inconvenient and uncomfortable as the symptoms themselves. Even if you’re doing the right thing, doing it the wrong way can actually leave you worse off. Avoid these traps when managing your symptoms:

Eating the wrong foods. Managing IBS really does start with diet. Foods high in these sugars also often have lots of fibre.  Monash University in Australia conducted a study and found a group of sugars called FODMAPs for short add fuel to your symptoms’ fire. So be sure to look for low FODMAP fibre.

Choosing the wrong fibre supplement. Even when eating right, you’ll still probably need to supplement your normal fibre intake. But choosing the right one takes just as much care as the rest of your diet, if not more. The wrong supplement, especially one based on wheat bran, can actually increase gas production and make your symptoms worse. A great place to start is a PHGG-based supplement that has prebiotics.

Going too far in the right direction. Once you read up on the power of choosing the right foods, it can be tempting to limit your diet. But this holds the same dangers as any crash diet or fad. You still need a variety of foods to eat healthily, and completely changing your diet overnight can shock your system and send you backwards. Make changes gently, dialing back the foods that seem to be your worst IBS offenders.