Do you suspect that you are suffering from IBS? IBS is also known as irritable bowel syndrome. This condition is usually known because of its specific symptoms. Recent studies suggest that many people are suffering from IBS, but are unaware of it.
The cause of this is the fact that many of the symptoms that are linked to IBS, might just as easily be linked to different conditions or a poor nutrition. In fact, many healthcare physicians do not even acknowledge IBS as an actual condition. This is also why testing of this condition is still in its infancy.
The sad fact of the matter is that there are no specific tests that could diagnose you with having IBS. A doctor can only tell whether or not you suffer from the condition purely based on specific questions he might ask you about your symptoms. On top of that, he also can do certain tasks to exclude the chances of other conditions that might be linked to the same symptoms.
So What Exactly is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also referred to as spastic colon, is a harmless intestinal disorder, but can be very annoying. IBS creates irregular, spasmodic and jerky movements in your gut: your bowel muscles pull too fast together or too slowly. Some IBS patients also suffer from a hypersensitive and irritable bowel wall.
Research has shown that about one in five people suffer from IBS. The study also showed that IBS is in most cases the cause of your symptoms if you suffer from intestinal complaints. IBS is more common in women (15-20% of women) than in men (5-20% of men).
Serotonin is a substance that plays a role in the contraction of the muscles. With IBS there is a disorder in the contraction of your bowel muscles, making your bowel overreact to food, exercise and hormonal changes.
In addition, scientists think that the abnormal processing of stimuli in the gastro-intestinal tract in IBS patients, also occurs in the brain. As a result, people with IBS experience pain in the gastrointestinal tract faster than other people.
Finally, it is suspected that PDS arises as a result of an intestinal infection, for example, by a food poisoning. People tell their GP often that their bowel symptoms began to arise only after an intestinal infection. However there is still additional research needed to determine this with certainty.
How to Diagnose IBS
In order to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and your medical history. Furthermore, a physical exam will be performed. In some cases, the doctor will need to perform a laboratory test to be certain.
Another possibility is that there is additional research needed, such as a stool examination or endoscopy. In an endoscopy, the doctor looks inside your bowel using a flexible tube with a camera on one end. If no further deviations appear from the examinations, it is almost certain that you are dealing with an irritable bowel. It is sometimes thought that the complaints come from a psychological problem. This is not always the case.
How Do You Recognize a Flare Up?
Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, changes in your stool, a bloated or tense feeling in the abdominal are, and a layer of mucus that goes with your stool. On top of that, these symptoms usually disappear the moment you go to the bathroom.
Of course, these are symptoms that are also linked to a stomach flu and general malnutrition. But if the symptoms persist, chances are you suffer from IBS. The thing is though, that these symptoms are not always as severe as before.
You may have a quiet period here or there. A flare up can be recognized the moment the symptoms come back at full strength. It is therefore important to see if you have eaten something that could have aggravated the condition. If you analyze your food intake and habits, you can avoid the foods that make the condition worse.