Not everyone who has symptoms for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experiences the exact same thing. Symptoms can be mild and annoying or they can be severe and debilitating and everything in between.
There are several symptoms that can be part of irritable bowel syndrome. First, diarrhea can be experienced. This is a loose, water stool that is sometimes hard to control. Many people who experience IBS with diarrhea have problems with urgent needs to run to the restroom.
On the flipside, constipation can also be part of IBS. This is hard stools that are difficult to eliminate. You may have difficulty going to the bathroom and experience days when you don’t go at all.
Feeling bloated is common with IBS. You may feel a sense of uncomfortable fullness and gas. While everyone experiences these symptoms from time to time, the true mark of irritable bowel syndrome is having them consistently over time.
If you’ve experienced problems with your bowels for at least three days a month for a period of three months, you may have irritable bowel syndrome. However, other disorders can cause similar symptoms so it’s important to rule out other conditions.
While irritable bowel syndrome can make life difficult, it doesn’t usually have a specific cause such as bacteria, virus, or other condition. Normally your bowel will appear to be normal and there won’t be any type of infection.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, you can begin looking at appropriate treatment. Sometimes that includes medications and often it includes dietary changes to eliminate symptoms.
Some people find the irritable bowel syndrome symptoms to be a nuisance that they only have to deal with some of the time. Others have more difficulty with symptoms that are more severe and frequent. Because IBS is a syndrome, there are a wide range of experiences.
Don’t feel that you are alone. This is a common disorder affecting one out of every six people. It seems to be more common in women for some reason than men. Once you’re diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, you may want to seek support from people just like you.
Because there is no medical cure for IBS, it’s important to look at your lifestyle and see what you can do to improve your diet, stress levels, and how you can manage living with your symptoms. Symptoms for irritable bowel syndrome can be miserable, but there are things you can do to alleviate many of them.