Everything about irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome known as IBS is made of a group of intestinal symptoms which usually happen together. Other names you may recognize this health condition with are:
- Irritable colon
- Spastic colon
- Spastic colitis
- Mucous colitis
This group of symptoms that happen all together vary in severity and duration. IBS doesn’t lead to gastrointestinal cancer but it can do a number of damages to your intestine, so you should take care of it.
There are three different types of IBS which you can read about them in the following content. As you may know IBS isn’t a serious problem but it brings pain with itself and in this way, it can affect your life and disrupt it. IBS affects your large intestine but only a small number of people experience severe symptoms.
What causes it?
The real reason behind IBS is unknown. But it can be caused by a sensitive immune system or an intestinal infection. Here we listed the reasons you may experience IBS:
Microflora are the good bacterias in your intestine. Microflora in people suffering from IBS is different from other people.
2- your nervous system
Signals that go between your brain and your intestine if aren’t coordinated well enough can cause pain in your abdomen because they usually overreact to some changes in your digestive system.
IBS can be caused because of a bacterial overgrowth.
4- celiac disease
Celiac disease if it is mild can damage your intestines and bring you pain.
5- inflamed intestines
In this condition, you have a large number of immune-system cells in your intestine that causes pain and IBS.
6- colon slow movements
If you are experiencing slowed movements of the colon, it may cause pain and cramping in your abdomen.
7- intestine muscle contraction
Intestine walls are made out of muscles that help you move and digest the food. Id these muscles are weak, they move the food very slowly and can cause pain.
8- colon serotonin levels
If the levels of serotonin in your colon are higher or lower than usual, it can affect your bowel movements.
This happens in women more than in men, especially when women are close to their menstrual cycle.
10- something you ate
You may experience some IBS symptoms if you eat some specific foods. Here is a list of foods that have higher risks of developing IBS symptoms:
- Citrus fruits
- Carbonated drinks
- Diary products
What are the symptoms?
First of all you need to know that IBS symptoms are different in men and women. It’s more common for women to show IBS symptoms near their menstrual periods or during it. Also there are reports of women who have experienced more IBS symptoms when they are pregnant. Women who are menopause experience less IBS symptoms than other women.
IBS symptoms more often happen in women rather than men. The general symptoms in men and women are the same but men usually look for a treatment far less than women.
3- pain in abdomen
7- you may see mucus in your stool
What are the risk factors?
IBS is very common and most people experience it in their life. But when does it become dangerous?
1- you have it in your genes
A combination of your family history and environment can play an important role.
If you are young and under the age of 50, your chances of getting the syndrome are higher.
In general women suffer from IBS more than men. So if you’re a woman it can be more dangerous and serious.
4- your mental health
Whether you have mental health problems or not can affect your risk of having this syndrome. Some mental health problems that increase your risk include:
Types of IBS
As we said above IBS has three different types. In this part we tell you all about IBS types.\
1- IBS with diarrhea
This type of IBS affects your large intestine. Symptoms include:
- Repeated stools
- Watery stools
- Pain and discomfort
- Bowel movements
2- IBS with constipation
This type of IBS usually affects adults more than children and teenagers. Symptoms include:
- Hard stools
- Stomach pain
- Delayed bowel movements
3- IBS with diarrhea and constipation
What are the complications?
Constant constipation and diarrhea can lead to hemorrhoids.
2- mood changes
IBS symptoms can lead to discomfort and pain and this can cause mood changes.
3- discomfort in life
People who have severe IBS symptoms are frequently in pain and discomfort. This can lead to a poor life quality.
How to avoid it?
Well one of the most common reasons for IBS is stress. If you learn to control your stress and anxiety, you can prevent IBS symptoms. Here are some ways to reduce and control your stress:
1- techniques that help you reduce your stress and let go of your worries
2- exercises that relax your muscles, especially the muscles in your abdomen
3- using biofeedback so you can understand your body more and slowly start to change the negative behaviors you have towards your body
4- ask a counselor to help you reduce your stress
How is it treated?
Well there is no specific cure for IBS. though you can treat some of the symptoms and reduce your pain and discomfort with some home remedies and medications. Even if you ask your doctor, your doctor probably would tell you to make some changes in your lifestyle to treat or prevent IBS symptoms.
Home remedies you can use to reduce IBS symptoms include:
1- no more spicy food
2- stop eating deep fried dishes
3- start doing physical exercises
4- no more drinking caffeine
5- reducing stress
6- start having smaller meals
Medication you can use to reduce IBS symptoms include:
If those home remedies didn’t work and you still experience painful IBS symptoms you can start using medications such as:
1- IBS Clear
2- Nature’s Sunshine Food Enzymes
3- Kijimea IBS
4- Herbs of Gold GutCare
5- BioZyme Digestive Enzymes
How is it diagnosed?
If you talk to your doctor about your symptoms, your doctor can probably diagnose IBS with only your description of symptoms. What matters in diagnosing IBS is diagnosing the reason behind its symptoms. For this your doctor might ask you questions about:
- Medical history
- Family medical history
- Medications you take
- Level of stress
Some tests your doctor may take to understand the reason behind your symptoms include:
1- blood test
3- sample of your stool
4- tests for food allergies
If you have signs of IBS and this worries you or if your symptoms are causing you pain and discomfort, it’s better you talked to your doctor. IBS can be treated with small changes in your life and you can easily get rid of the discomfort.