Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and alternating diarrhea and constipation.
Accordingly, between 3 percent and 20 percent of trusted sources of Americans experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. The condition affects more women than men. Whereas some people with it have minor symptoms. However, for others, the symptoms are significant and disrupt daily life.
What is Irritable bowel syndrome?
IBS Irritable bowel syndrome is also known as spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, and spastic colitis. For instance, it is a separate condition from inflammatory bowel disease and isn’t related to other bowel conditions. Generally, an irritable bowel syndrome is a group of intestinal symptoms that typically occur together. Such as the symptoms vary in severity and duration from person to person. However, they last at least three months for at least three days per month.
Furthermore, irritable bowel syndrome can cause intestinal damage in some cases. However, that is not common.
Irritable bowel syndrome doesn’t increase your risk of gastrointestinal cancers, but it can still have a significant effect on your life.
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
The symptoms typically include:
It’s not uncommon for people with IBS to have episodes of both constipation and diarrhea. Symptoms such as bloating and gas typically go away after you have a bowel movement.
Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome aren’t always persistent. In this case, they can resolve, only to come back. However, some people do have continuous symptoms.
Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome in women
Women may tend to have symptoms around the time of menstruation, or they may have more symptoms during this time. Menopausal women have fewer symptoms than women who are still menstruating. Some women have also reported that certain symptoms increase during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome in men
Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome in men are the same as the symptoms in women. However, a lot fewer men report their symptoms and seek treatment.
Irritable bowel syndrome pain
Likewise, Irritable bowel syndrome pain may feel like cramping. With this cramping, you will also have at least two of the following experiences:
- some relief of pain after a bowel movement
- a change in how often you have a bowel movement
- changes in the way your stools look
Generally, your doctor may be able to diagnose Irritable bowel syndrome based on your symptoms. They may also take one or more of the following steps to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms:
- have you adopt a certain diet or cut out specific food groups for a period to rule out any food allergies
- if a stool sample examined to rule out infection
- have blood tests done to check for anemia and rule out celiac disease
- perform a colonoscopy
In particular, a colonoscopy is typically only done if your doctor suspects that your symptoms are being caused by colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), or cancer.
In addition to some, dietary changes can go a long way in helping ease symptoms. Because the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome vary among people with the condition, approaches to dietary changes need to vary.
Thus there is no cure for Irritable bowel syndrome. For the most part, treatment is aimed at symptom relief. Initially, your doctor may have you make certain lifestyle changes. These “home remedies” are typically suggested before the use of medication.
Home remedies for Irritable bowel syndrome
In addition to certain home remedies or lifestyle changes may help to relieve your Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms without the use of medication. Such as examples of these lifestyle changes include:
- participating in regular physical exercise
- cutting back on caffeinated beverages that stimulate the intestines
- eating smaller meals
- minimizing stress (talk therapy may help)
- taking probiotics (“good” bacteria normally found in the intestines) to help relieve gas and bloating
- avoiding deep-fried or spicy foods
Foods to avoid with IBS
Managing your diet when you have Irritable bowel syndrome may take a little extra time but is often worth the effort. Modifying amounts or eliminating certain foods such as dairy, fried foods, indigestible sugars, and beans may help to reduce different symptoms. For some people, adding spices and herbs such as ginger, peppermint, and chamomile has helped to reduce some Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
If your symptoms do not improve through home remedies, such as lifestyle or dietary changes, your doctor may suggest the use of medications.
differently to the same medication, so you may need to work with your doctor to find the right medication for you.
As with all medication, when considering new medication, it’s important to tell your doctor what you are already taking, including herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications. Such as this will help your doctor avoid any medication that could interact with what you are already taking.
Some drugs are used to treat IBS symptoms, while other drugs are focused on specific symptoms. Generally, drugs that are used include medications to control muscle spasms, anti-constipation drugs, tricyclic antidepressants to ease pain, and antibiotics. To begin with, if your main IBS symptom is constipation, linaclotide and lubiprostone are two drugs that are recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology
To help you live your life in the face of Crohn’s and UC, we’ll send you empathetic insights and tips on easing flare-ups.
What causes IBS?
Although there are many ways to treat IBS, the exact cause of IBS is unknown. Possible causes include an overly sensitive colon or immune system. Postinfectious IBS is caused by a previous bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract. The varied possible causes make IBS difficult to prevent.
The physical processes involved in IBS can also vary, but may consist of:
- slowed or spastic movements of the colon, causing painful cramping
- abnormal serotonin levels in the colon, affecting motility and bowel movements
- mild celiac disease that damages the intestines, causing IBS symptoms
For many people, the key to managing IBS symptoms is to avoid triggers. Certain foods as well as stress and anxiety can be triggers for IBS symptoms for many people.
Recognizing in advance situations that may increase your levels of stress and anxiety can help. This can give you time to either plan to avoid these situations when possible or develop strategies to limit the stress and anxiety.
IBS with stress
The automatic movement, or motility, of your digestive system, is controlled to a great degree by your nervous system. Stress can affect your nerves, making your digestive system overactive. If you have IBS, your colon may be overly responsive to even slight disruption of your digestive system. It is also believed that IBS is affected by the immune system, which is affected by stress.
IBS with weight loss
IBS doesn’t affect the weight of everyone with the condition. However, it can potentially lead to weight loss if you don’t eat enough to maintain your weight to avoid symptoms. Cramping may come more often right after you eat. If frequent diarrhea is one of your symptoms, your body may not be getting all of the nutrients from the food you eat. Your weight may decrease as a result of this.
IBS with diarrhea
IBS with diarrhea is a specific type of IBS. It primarily affects your large intestine. Common symptoms of IBS with diarrhea include frequent stools and nausea. Some people with IBS with diarrhea occasionally lose bowel control.
IBS with constipation
IBS with constipation is a type of IBS that typically affects adolescents and young adults. Stools that are hard and happen less often as well as constipation are the most common symptoms of this type of IBS.