No other disease can disrupt your life quite like irritable bowel syndrome. You always need to know where the nearest bathroom is and the wrong food can cause your body to produce clouds of noxious flatulence. IBS can affect your self esteem and make your life miserable.
While there is no cure for it, there are some lifestyle changes and medication that you can take to help get the disease under control and live a more normal life. Read on to learn more about treating IBS with lifestyle changes and medication.
IBS is a common disease that affects millions of people. It affects your colon and can cause constipation, gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea. There is no cure and it is something that you will need to address your whole life. If your symptoms are severe, they can have a major impact on your life.
If you have IBS, you might experience cramping after you eat or while your food is digesting. This cramping ranges in intensity from merely uncomfortable to downright painful. Your abdomen might be distended and you will probably feel bloated.
Gas is another major symptom of IBS. You might find yourself passing gas constantly and it can be socially embarrassing to say the least. You may also suffer from alternating bouts of constipation or diarrhea and find that you pass mucus with your stool. The symptoms can increase in intensity and flare up when you are stressed out or tired. You will also experience times when the symptoms are very mild.
The medical community does not have a definitive answer on what causes IBS. Some doctors feel that the symptoms are caused by abnormal contractions in your colon. When your colon contracts too much, you end up with cramps, gas, diarrhea and bloating. When your colon doesn’t contract enough, you end up with constipation.
Some researchers feel there is a disconnect between your brain and your intestines that causes you to overreact to the normal digestive process. You might have certain triggers that make your IBS flare up.
Food is a major trigger for some people who suffer with IBS. Alcohol, milk, beans, spicy foods, citrus fruit and broccoli all seem to be common food triggers. Stress is another major trigger. You will notice that when you are stressed out that your symptoms will be worse. Hormones can also trigger IBS.
More women suffer from IBS than men and you might feel worse around your menstrual period.
Many people who get IBS are also under the age of 45 and you are more likely to get it if you have a family history of the disease. IBS can lead to other health issues that need to be treated by a doctor. Frequent bowel movements can lead to hemorrhoids and you could also end up with malnutrition from avoiding certain foods you need. You could also become depressed.
If you think you have IBS, see a doctor. A doctor can prescribe medication and help you develop a plan to combat your symptoms. It helps to keep a diary of your symptoms. You can bring this diary to your appointment and share it with your doctor. It helps to keep a list of the things that are stressing you out as well. Don’t forget to tell your doctor about any medications you are on.
Once you doctor has diagnosed you with IBS, you may need additional testing. These tests include a colonoscopy, CT scan, blood tests and stool tests.
When the results of the tests are in, your doctor may prescribe medication to help you control your symptoms. Your doctor may want you to take fiber supplements if you have constipation.
Other medications that your doctor may prescribe include antibiotics, antidepressants, antispasmodics and anticholinergic medications that can help stop the agonizing spasms you go through. If over the counter medications are not strong enough to stop your diarrhea, your doctor may prescribe some medication that can stop it. Home care should also be included in your regimen.
IBS can be uncomfortable, but it can also be controlled. When you avoid your triggers, and try to control your stress levels, you will have success in treating your IBS. It is important to use a combination of medication and good self care to reduce your symptoms and find relief. Medication alone isn’t enough.
You need to address the root of the problem, be it food or stress. Many people find relief in meditation and yoga because of the calming effect these practices have.
If you have been diagnosed with IBS you are not alone. Do what you need to do to tackle this condition and try not to let it get you down. Develop a plan and stick to it. IBS can be controlled.