What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a very common, yet challenging, intestinal complication. According to medical professionals, one in every five adults in the United States experience irritable bowel syndrome or “IBS” signs and symptoms. While it is true that people that have this condition find it to be a complicated and distressful condition, it is imperative that you understand that it does not lead to permanent damage and does not result in more serious health complications, like cancer.
Individuals that suffer from this condition may find that it is disabling to a degree.
However, there are many that are able to make adjustments to their life that will permit them to manage their symptoms effectively. Throughout this guide, you will learn many important facts about irritable bowel syndrome.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Causes
While it is true that medical professionals have studied irritable bowel syndrome for quite a few years, no specific cause has been established. However, there are several theories surrounding the condition. One of the main theories about the condition is that individuals that have this condition have a sensitive colon that reacts strongly to various types of foods and even stressors that may affect them from day to day.
It is also believed that the individual’s immunity may play a role in the way that the colon reacts to certain substances and circumstances.
Many mistakenly believe that foods cause this condition to develop. While foods do not result in the onset of irritable bowel syndrome, it has been established that certain types of foods may trigger the symptoms that are often experienced.
Examples of these foods include chocolate, drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine as well as products that contain milk.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
There are many different symptoms that may be experienced when an individual experiences irritable bowel syndrome. When an individual experiences IBS, it means that they have suffered from some type of pain or discomfort in the abdominal region for approximately three months or longer. There are numerous common symptoms that may be experienced. The following outlines these symptoms:
• Most sufferers experience cramping and other types of pain in the abdominal region.
• It is common for constipation to be experienced. This means that bowel movements are infrequent and the stools may be hard due to the fact that they are dry.
• In many instances, when an IBS sufferer is having a bowel movement, they may feel as if they are not finished. The urge is there to continue the movement, but nothing is being emitted from the body.
• It is common for diarrhea to occur. This means that the stools are frequent, watery and loose. This could result in high levels of discomfort and even pain.
• In many instances, a sufferer may experience alternating bouts of both constipation and diarrhea.
• Mucus may be present in the stools during bowel movements.
• It is extremely common for an individual with irritable bowel syndrome to find that they experience bloating in the abdominal region of their body.
• Many experience repetitive bouts of gas daily. On average, a person produces up to four pints of gas daily. Those with IBS may experience more. On an average day, a person passes gas from their body approximately fourteen times a day. Gas may be passed through both the mouth and the rectum. When it is passed through the mouth, it is referred to as “burping” or “belching”. When it is passed through the rectum, it is referred to as “flatulence”. It stems from two causes. The first is the air that is swallowed. The second is the actual breakdown of the food that is undigested by bacterium that is located in the large intestine.
• Many experience the symptom of feeling full to a point that they actually feel extremely full. In other instances, they feel nausea after consuming a meal.
• Females that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome may find that they experience high levels of discomfort when they are experiencing their menstrual cycle.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome should understand that there is no cure for the condition. However, there are treatments that will address the symptoms of the condition. For example, individuals that suffer from diarrhea may be prescribed treatments that will address that issue.
Those that suffer from constipation may be issued medications to deal with that complication. In addition to prescription and over-the-counter medications that may be suitable for IBS, there are several personal changes such as those that pertain to the diet and lifestyle that may assist in reducing the devastating symptoms that hinder those with this condition.
If you or a loved one suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, it is imperative that you consult a medical professional for assistance in coping with the issue effectively.