The condition Irritable Bowel Syndrome is shortened to IBS. This condition of the larger bowel can change a person’s daily life in several major ways. As a functional disorder of the colon, there is no permanent or obvious damage to the digestive tract. IBS may not damage other organs, but the condition will still lead to some major life changes.
Symptoms associated with IBS affect the stomach and bowels, and include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. These symptoms are associated with irritation and inflammation of the nerve endings in the colon, causing the pain, spasms, and unusual activity. Inflammation and irritation of the bowel can be triggered by several problems, including too little exercise, a high-fat diet, or a stressful life.
Managing diet can help reduce the impact of IBS symptoms. Foods like alcohol, coffee, sodas, fried or greasy food can all trigger inflammation, causing IBS symptoms to return. Eating too much, too quickly, or waiting a long time between meals can change pH in the digestive system, putting stress on the bowel. IBS symptoms can also be aggravated by depression, trauma, or stress. However, it is important to know that mental health does not cause IBS.
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Working with a doctor to diagnose IBS is very important, because symptoms can vary among several people. A doctor can rule out other medical conditions, and perform tests which can help diagnose IBS. Some of these tests include a colonoscopy, a stool parasite culture, or x-rays of the lower GI tract and small bowel. There is no cure for IBS, but there are many ways to manage it, with a doctor’s help.
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Changing diet and lifestyle habits is the first, and often best, way to manage IBS symptoms. Managing stress is also important, so get a full night’s sleep, develop a daily exercise routine, and, if necessary, find a counselor or therapist to manage anxiety, trauma, or other mental health concerns. If lifestyle and dietary changes do not manage symptoms well enough, there are prescriptions which can help. Taking a laxative can alleviate IBS-related constipation. If the symptom is diarrhea, your doctor may prescribe loperamide. Anti-spasmodic medicines can also work to reduce involuntary colon spasms. These drugs can help reduce pain and cramps. Not only can they reduce pain while the person is awake, but they help the individual sleep better, too. There is less urge to get up throughout the night, or pain to keep you awake. Since IBS symptoms can be triggered by sleep deprivation, this can be very important! View this website for more information about treatment of IBS, and symptoms typically associated with it. Click here to get started reading more about IBS and how others manage this condition. We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to learn more about IBS.