Regardless of how much exercise we do, and how healthy our diet is, some health problems are totally unavoidable. In fact, if you go through a medical book, most of the conditions can be suffered by anyone at any time of life. So, is it worth bothering with a healthy lifestyle at all? Of course it is. Just sitting around eating all day has been shown to increase the risk of many diseases, including heart problems and stroke. While life expectancy will be shortened.
One that affects millions of people around the world, is irritable bowel syndrome, otherwise referred to as IBS. In fact, there are many people who are not aware that they actually have it, they just continue with their life thinking that they have the odd stomach upset.
Although it may seem that IBS is a single health problem, the truth is far from that. The thing is, there are so many things which can go wrong with the human digestive system that we know little about, they are often put under the umbrella of IBS.
So rather than it being just one specific problem, it is actually a long list of things. There are many potential triggers when it comes to this problem. One of the main ones is stress. With our lives being so active these days due to constantly being in touch with everyone, stress levels can quickly increase. This in turn leads to a release of additional hormones that our body is not used to over the long term. These can then cause issues with the bowels.
Another cause can often be an infection, and we are not just talking about a stomach virus. Any infection can lead to an autoimmune response which can kick start IBS. This may last for a short period, or it can continue for the rest of a person’s life.
Sometimes there can be a problem between the bowel and the brain, which causes the problem. Questions like, can lower back pain cause irritable bowel syndrome, are also asked quite frequently? Although there is no solid proof of this, the causes of IBS are not fully understood, so it is possible.
Aging can also cause the problem, especially in people over 50. The problem with this condition is that many of the symptoms can also be the same as some other issues, such as coeliac disease and parasitic infections.
In fact, when any issues with the bowel are discovered, it is essential to see a medical professional straight away. A number of tests will then be carried out, such as the taking of blood, and a stool check. If all of these come back negative, then the cause is usually put down to IBS.
Some people are then glad that they have a diagnosis, and that it is nothing serious, but it doesn’t really help in getting to the bottom of the condition. Finding out the trigger can be a long and laborious process.
Even though tests have ruled out many things, the doctor may decide that further tests are required. These can go on for a long time, and sometimes a camera may be used in order for the doctor to take a physical look at the bowel.
If IBS has been diagnosed, then it is the responsibility of the patient to try and discover if it is just random or caused by something else. This is why it is important to keep a diary of everything that is done and consumed, and this includes all medications. By doing this, trends may appear, and then these can be taken care of.
For instance, if chili is eaten with a meal, and the diary shows that IBS kicks off about an hour later, then simply removing the chili from the diet would be a good idea.
The good news is that there are many treatments for IBS, the bad news is that it is not usually curable. If pain is associated with an episode of IBS, then as soon as the first signal that an attack is starting appears, it is important to take painkillers.
Anti-inflammatories are usually supplied as well to people who have it often. These help reduce the amount of swelling that occurs in the bowel, and this can help lower the amount of pain a person has.
There are so many medications now, that it can be a difficult task working out which ones are the best. Often it can take a person some years to find the medications that are best for them. The same goes for searching for potential triggers. Although there is no cure for this problem, it is very important to realize that with some time and effort, it can be reasonably well managed.