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Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Symptoms, Treatment and Diet for IBS

Updated on August 14, 2014
Digestive System
Digestive System | Source

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is among a variety of ailments generally known as "functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders".

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a persistent condition of the gastrointestinal system.While in the doctor's office very little unusual is observed on tests. Its principal signs and symptoms are stomach ache and altered bowel patterns (eg, constipation and/or diarrhea), however these types of symptoms have virtually no identifiable cause.

The colon's primary purpose is actually to absorb water and nutritional requirements from partly digested food. Whatever that isn't absorbed is gradually transferred through the colon in the direction of the rectum and out from the human body as waste in the form of feces (also called stool). Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS affects mainly women.

Causes of IBS

Causes tend to be unknown, although many theories exist such as stress, reaction to antibiotics, genetics, an infection of the digestive tract, allergic reactions to certain foods, etc. A lot of people who suffer from IBS seem to have unusually sensitive digestive systems.

Symptoms of IBS

IBS signs and symptoms include things like diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal cramps.

Symptoms might frequently take place right after consuming a meal.
In order to meet the actual definition regarding IBS, symptoms need to take place at the very least 3 times per month.

The symptoms of IBS are generally regular (meaning that a person will have bouts of symptoms on a continuing basis as opposed to just a couple of times per year). Those with IBS often notice their symptoms break out at certain times - for a number of people it's anytime they consume a big meal, for other individuals it could be if they are under a great deal of pressure or stress. A number of girls observe that they have symptoms of IBS close to the time of their periods .

The actual symptoms can come and go, and may alter in the same individual. Occasionally the pain from Irritable bowel syndrome may be so intense that it's disabling and patients cannot carry out routine things. Furthermore, bad diarrhea can result in dehydration as well as an electrolyte imbalance.

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS treatments consist of diet as well as lifestyle modifications and medications.

Keep track of symptoms -- The very first stage in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome should be to monitor symptoms, daily bowel habits, as well as any kind of additional things that could affect your bowels. This will assist to determine factors that aggravate symptoms in a number of people with IBS, for example lactose or some other food intolerances and stress. An everyday journal is a good idea Simply because of the diverseness of symptoms and stool patterns which show in IBS, pharmacologic treatment methods may differ greatly. Typically, treatment is decided by way of the prevalent bowel pattern as well as the symptoms which most disturb the patient's daily life

Treatment for IBS may also differ depending on the symptoms present. There are numerous of medications put into use to treat IBS. Many of these are chosen in order to control particular symptoms. For many with IBS that show symptoms of constipation, laxatives and also a high fiber diet tend to be often recommended at first. For individuals in which pain may be the major aspect, antispasmodic agents will often be used.
Those that have mainly diarrhea can usually be treated using a selection of agents geared towards eliminating or reducing the diarrhea.
Treatment is quite individualized.

Have you suffered from IBS? What was your approach?

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Food, Diet and Stress.

If a specific food is apparently a trigger, it is removed from the diet. Similarly, in the event that specific situations are determined which induce stress and outbreaks, patients are recommended to steer clear of them. Stress can certainly lead to symptoms of IBS. Controlling stress may enhance the performance of the Gastrointestinal system For instance, high-fat eating habits may trouble some, and not others. Consuming large meals as well as hot and spicy foodstuff quite often result in issues, just like caffeinated drinks (coffee or soda), alcohol, milk and dairy products, and also grains like wheat, barley, or rye. A few of these food items are connected to some other digestive system conditions such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease , though, therefore it is important that you visit a doctor if you feel a certain food is leading to digestive system problems.

Probiotics may also be helpful in the case of IBS symptoms and they are not dangerous.

A few foods, for example fatty foods, foods with a high fructose content, or dairy products, may intensify IBS symptoms. If particular foods induce symptoms, consume less of them or stay away from them entirely.

Maintain a list of problematic foods in a journal and consider talking about these with a clinician or dietitian. Several foods are known to cause symptoms that mimic or even aggravate irritable bowel syndrome, including milk products (that have lactose), legumes (including beans), and cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts). These food items raise intestinal tract gas, which can easily result in cramps, leading to IBS symptoms.


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    • profile image

      Ciaranm 3 years ago

      Thanks, Janice. Glad you liked it. I too have to watch what I eat as I have multiple food intolerances, perhaps I'll write an article about that soon!

    • profile image

      Janice Horner 3 years ago

      Love your article! I have celiac disease, which I accept, but can be really annoying at times! Brilliantly penned!

    • profile image

      Ciaranm 3 years ago

      You're welcome Dim!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 3 years ago from Great Britain

      Very useful article. This condition seems to be spreading .

      I take a tablet for the stomach cramps, but your advice on some of the other symptoms l will definitely try.

      Thank you.