Irritable bowel syndrome is chronic, uncontrollable, and unpredictable in nature. This study explored how Korean women with irritable bowel syndrome decipher the meaning of their symptoms and implement irritable bowel syndrome health management strategies. Data were collected in 2009 from 14 Korean women in their 20s and 30s through in-depth interviews using grounded theory. The constant comparative method was adopted for data analysis. The core category identified in the study was the "process of controlling irritable bowel syndrome symptoms." Strategies showed a temporal change progressing through stages of helplessness, searching, realization, struggling, and controlling. Early in symptom management, subjects tended to rely on medication or did not have a strategy. After a trial and error process, subjects did not use medication and natural symptom management that incorporated regular living habits, dietary control, and stress management. The introduction of strategic nursing interventions for irritable bowel syndrome based on the temporal stage of health management is recommended.