Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a very complex medical condition. It is an intestinal disorder that causes diarrhea, bloating, gas, stomach pain and constipation. Although IBS is considered a chronic medical condition, there are certain things that you can do to reduce the symptoms you may have.
The symptoms that you experience may vary from day to day. Some days the symptoms may not affect you, other days you may feel slightly worse. However, the disorder will not progress into a more serious condition such as cancer of inflammatory bowel disease.
The causes of IBS are not very defined. People are diagnosed with IBS from different causes. Many experts believe that one cause may be signal interruption between the brain and the digestive symptom.
Another cause may be stress, anxiety or problems digesting certain types of foods. IBS sufferers usually have sensitive stomachs due to the fact that the muscles inside of the intestines move more slowly.
Other people are affected with IBS because of hormonal changes and medications such as antibiotics.
What Are The Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
There are several symptoms that are commonly related to IBS, but the most common symptoms are stomach pain with either diarrhea or constipation. Other symptoms include mucus in the stool, bloating and feeling as if your bowels are not completely emptied.
Many people who have IBS suffer with either constipation or diarrhea or a regular basis. They are usually affected by one symptom more than the other.
Some people have IBS and never consult a doctor for treatment. This is usually due to the fact that their symptoms are not profound enough to warrant medical intervention. However, most people who experience extreme stomach cramps and diarrhea often seek out treatment for the condition.
Many have questioned those who say they have IBS. Because IBS does not cause any structural damage inside of the intestines, critics of the disorder believe that those who suffer with IBS have the disorder ‘all in their heads’. Unfortunately, this is not true. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very real medical disorder.
How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed?
A medical practitioner will be able to diagnose you with Irritable Bowel Syndrome based entirely on your symptoms and medical history. The practitioner will also perform an exam. Sometimes, other tests are required in order to make a definite diagnosis. Stool analysis tests and blood tests may be given. These tests will help to eliminate any other causes for the symptoms.
How To Cure Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Although technically there is not a cure for IBS, there are different treatments that you can try at home or are prescribed by your doctor to help ease or reduce the frequency of the symptoms. The treatment that you will receive will be based on:
• The symptoms you have
• The severity of the symptoms
• How the symptoms affect your daily routine
It is important to note that the same treatment is not effective for everyone.
While you are seeking treatment for IBS, you should take the time to learn as much as you can about the disorder. This will help you and your health care practitioner come up with solution treatments that may be effective for you. You may need to make a change in your lifestyle so you can adapt to living with IBS while at the same time maintaining your daily lifestyle. You should also let your doctor know if the treatment loses its effectiveness.
The first thing that you should do when you begin treating your IBS is to record and journal your information. You should record your bowel movements, what you eat daily and any parts of your daily routine that may affect the IBS.
Journaling this information for several weeks will provide your practitioner with the information to determine the activities and foods that make your condition worse and which ones make it better.
Many People With IBS deal With Food triggers. However, the following tips may help to reduce IBS symptoms:
• Limit your intake of caffeine
• Limit your intake of alcohol
• Limit your intake of high fatty foods
• If you suffer with diarrhea, limit your intake of artificial sweeteners and dairy products
• Increase fiber if you suffer with constipation
• Avoid foods that can cause gas such as beans and cabbage
Irritable Bowel Syndrome does not have one cure, but there are several things that you can do to help manage and reduce your symptoms. Consult with your practitioner if you notice changes or new symptoms.