Irritable Bowel Syndrome? What Is It?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common problem. In fact, about one in every six people has some symptoms related to the syndrome. Unlike some diseases with specific causes and symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome is a collection of symptoms and no one knows the exact cause of the problem.
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can come in a range. Most often, they include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and a feeling of fullness. People also experience problems with diarrhea and constipation. They often experience all of the symptoms at different times.
There’s no exact known cause, however it’s believed that irritable bowel syndrome can result from a problem with the connection of the nervous system to the intestines. When you become stressed or anxious, the neurons misfire causing problems that lead to these symptoms.
Diet can also contribute to this syndrome. Eating foods that are irritating to the lining of your digestive system such as very fatty or spicy foods can often trigger an episode. Eating large meals can also contribute to problems. Caffeine is also known to trigger IBS.
People with irritable bowel syndrome have symptoms for at least three days each month for at least three months in order to be given this diagnosis. If you’ve been having digestive problems, you’ll want to make an appointment with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.
The first thing your doctor will do is order tests to rule out specific diseases that can cause similar symptoms such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and cancers. You may also be asked to have a colonoscopy performed so that your physician can look for polyps, masses, or inflammation in the colon.
With irritable bowel syndrome, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the structure of the bowel. So if you’ve had tests and other problems have been ruled out, you’ll most likely be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.
While there is no cure for IBS, there are many things you can do to promote a healthier bowel and while it can be permanent it isn’t always so. Treatment options include making changes to your diet such as increasing fiber, eliminating caffeine, and lowering stress levels.
Some medications can also help to control constipation and diarrhea. If you have symptoms it’s important to seek medical attention to rule out more serious conditions. You may be wondering, “What is irritable bowel syndrome going to do for my health?” but knowing what is going on will help you to treat symptoms and have a normal life.