Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome known commonly as IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). IBS is not a disease, it is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that typically happen together. It is a chronic disorder that causes pain and/or discomfort with a wide variety of symptoms. It is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which does damage to the intestine.
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Bloating and gas
- Sometimes alternating Constipation and Diarrhea
- Mucus in the stool
- Changes in bowel movement patterns and consistency.
- Pain the lower belly
It’s not known exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome, but doctor’s believe it is caused by a combination of factors that include the following.
- An infection in your stomach or intestines
- An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the intestines
- Food sensitivities or allergies
- Problems with the nerve signals between your brain to your intestine
- Some medicines, such as antibiotics.
- Hormonal changes that may include the menstrual cycle
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Poor diet (processed and refined foods, excess sugar, gluten, and certain additives)
- Other illnesses have been linked to causing IBS.
Health Risks Associated With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS can range from mild inconvenience to severe debilitation and is unique to each person. It is important to remember that IBS typically does not cause any physical damage to the intestines.
- May aggravate hemorrhoids
- Malnourishment or Malnutrition caused by diarrhea and constipation
- Disruption of daily activities
- Severe cases can lead to challenges with physical, emotional, and social well being.
You should consult with your doctor if any of your symptoms or conditions change or become worse. Often IBS is associated with underlying medical conditions that could be more serious.
Treatment and remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome will vary person to person. The severity of your symptoms will determine what the best ways to deal with IBS are for you. Here are some commonly helpful treatments that include at home remedies.
- Increasing fiber in your diet via foods or supplements. This will help regulate your digestive process.
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse (Try removing common food allergens such as gluten, dairy, and refined sugars).
- Take a proactive approach to your diet. Eat more whole natural foods and avoid foods that are highly processed or contain a lot of sugar.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day (5 small meals a day)
- Take a daily probiotic supplement to increase your overall intestinal health.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol
- Reduce stress
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Laxatives for constipation
- There are several prescription drugs that are available for IBS treatment. Consult your doctor
- Watch for new symptoms and report them to your doctor if they occur.