Irritable bowel syndrome, more commonly known as IBS, is a potentially life-changing condition that can create a lot of discomfort and inconvenience in your daily routine.
Despite how hard symptoms can hit you though, sometimes you really don’t have IBS, but something else entirely. Learn how to tell, so you can treat it properly.
Of course, the best thing to do is check in with your family physician if you are extremely concerned about the situation.
Are You Severely Stressed Out?
Anxiety and stress are primary culprits when it comes to symptoms of IBS, and often confused with the actual condition. If your body is under great duress, it will respond in chaotic and unpleasant ways.
Stop and examine your life lately, and determine if things are really bothering you. If that’s the case, make a pro-active plan to manage stress. Try meditation or moderate exercise as a means of venting frustrations.
Use your favorite music to relax you or a hot bath to soothe. Chances are good that once the stress is under control, your digestive irregularities will be too.
What Have You Been Eating Lately?
Most people who go on an extreme diet will suddenly have strange symptoms, including those similar to irritable bowel syndrome.
If you’re trying to lose weight by skipping meals, restricting yourself to liquids only or otherwise have severely modified your dietary intake lately, consider it suspect and try something else.
While managing weight is an essential part of being healthy, over doing it will often lead to problems. Ask your doctor to be on the safe side, and see what he or she might recommend as an alternative weight loss method.
Is There Something In The Water?
If you have relocated within the past month or so, the new water system might be responsible for changes in your digestive tract and subsequent bowel movements.
The water may contain different elements, such as minerals, chlorine and fluoride which will impact your body in different ways. Switch to bottled water if possible for a week or so and see if you don’t return to normal.
You also may want to consider investing in a water purification system, if you think the water at your new residence is to blame for your irritating or uncomfortable symptoms.
What Exactly Are Your Symptoms?
If you have basically ruled out all possible causes for your digestive irregularities, start logging your symptoms in a journal. Also make a note of the types of foods you are eating and how they effect you.
Keep writing for at least a week, then decide if your symptoms are serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor’s office. Bring the notebook with you and share your findings.
They will help narrow down your specific condition and help your physician plot a course of action. Real symptoms of IBS include, but are not necessarily limited to: Bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, abdominal pain and irregular or unusual bowel movements.
In general, you will feel uneasy about the symptoms, however; there should be no other accompanying and more serious symptoms like fever or vomiting.
None the less, it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis for peace of mind, as well as to be able to make the necessary changes to your diet that will help to alleviate your symptoms.
What Happens If It’s Really IBS?
Once your doctor has run a few tests and gotten all the necessary information from you, he or she may inform you that you do indeed suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
This simply means that your system is sensitive and tends to over-react in certain situations. You will need to change your menu, for starters, and definitely subscribe to a healthier way of eating from there on out.
Also, one of the more difficult challenges with IBS is finding a good balance with fiber: Too much and you’re in a bind, not enough and you’ll be afraid to wander too far from a bathroom.
Quite often, a diagnosis of anything is better than not knowing exactly what is going on with your body. If you do have IBS, learn the best ways of treating it for you personally.
Modify your diet and lifestyle and go easier on your digestive system. In the event that it’s something else entirely, take care of that too.
Few things interfere with normal life more than abnormalities, and you deserve to feel better, no matter what’s going on.