Irritable bowel syndrome is a prevalent bowel disorder. It manifests itself with continuous or recurrent symptoms for at least three months. The following are the most common symptoms of the disorder.
Abdominal discomfort or pain. The discomfort fades when an individual defecates.
Two or more of the following symptoms, with at least one recurring on one-fourth of occasions or days.
– Altered stool frequency.
– Altered stool form ( loose or hard/ watery stool)
– Altered stool passage ( Urgency or straining, feeling of incomplete evacuation of the stool)
– Passage of mucus
– Feeling of abdominal distention / bloating.
What cause irritable bowel syndrome?
There are several theories that try to explain the possible causes of bowel syndrome. These causes have been arrived at after intensive researches and investigations were conducted by doctors and researchers. The possible causes include:
1.The use of analgesics
According to independent survey studies, researchers have established that people who take Tylenol normally develop IBS- diarrhea. This is because the substance (Tylenol) contains a substance called acetaminophen that aggravates the development of the bowel syndrome. Analgesics that contain high levels of serotonin trigger the development of the health concern. You will also notice that serotonin-blocking drugs are the ones that are used to treat IBS- diarrhea.
2.Bowel-brain chemical imbalance
It should be understood that the gut and the brain are connected by both the neurotransmitter chemicals e.g. serotonin and norepinephrine and the nervous system. The two chemicals contribute to the symptoms of the IBS. Basically, diarrhea occurs when huge amounts of serotonin inhibit norepinephrine which causes a sharp increase in the levels of acetylcholine. In addition, increase in the levels of norepinephrine results in constipation – a symptom of IBS.
This cause has been emphasized by researcher and doctors as the key cause of irritable bowel syndrome. Infection occurs as a result of presence of parasites and bacteria in the bowel. The IBS research on how and why infection causes irritable bowel syndrome can be discussed from two broad perspectives.
– How the inflammation that accompanies a bowel infection causes damage to the nerves in the gut lining thus altering the manner in which the nervous system works.
– How a low-grade inflammation remains in the alimentary canal after an inflammation.
In general, an acute infection of the bowel results in an inflammation of the lining of the mucous membrane and the intestines. The infection initiates a cascade of processes that will not halt when they are supposed to. The inflammatory process creates a life of its own and it will eventually contribute to an infiltration of the immune cells into the intestinal lining. The cells will pose challenges to the entire immune system by causing irritations.
4.Presence of bacteria in the small intestines
Normally, beneficial bacterial are supposed to reside in the large intestines. In certain situations, their numbers may rise and they are forced to migrate to the small intestines where the grass is greener. According to a research that was conducted by independent researchers in California, when the bacteria infest the small intestines, they feed, grow and reproduce. They also release bacterial waste in the small intestines which makes the victim to feel gassy and bloated. Some of their wastes are absorbed into the walls of the small intestines and some even end up in the bloodstream. The immune system will then have to curb such situations and in the event of executing its functions, victims develop flu-like symptoms- flu like symptoms are so common in IBS. When there is an attack on the small intestines, joint and muscle pain is developed.
5. Presence of parasites in the body
Researches studies have also revealed that presence of large amounts of parasites in the bowel e.g. worms contribute to the development of irritable bowel syndrome. The activities of the parasites will disturb the normal functioning of bowel processes thus the development of bowel symptoms.
The bottom line
It is evident that there are multiple factors that lead to the development of IBS. It is therefore a complete hint that there could be more that one ways of treating this discomfort. Always bear in mind that the list is not comprehensive. There are several other factors that may contribute to the development of this nuisance.