Tuesday, 23 August, 2022
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the umbrella name for a group of symptoms that chiefly affect the large intestine. Anyone diagnosed with IBS will experience abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
Generally, people learn to control these symptoms by altering their diet, stress levels, and lifestyle habits. Those who have severe symptoms use medication.
Symptoms of IBS
The symptoms of IBS are:
- Stomach pain that intensifies after eating and is eased by a bowel motion
- A change in bowel habits so that those who have diarrhea now have constipation
- A full feeling in the abdomen or bloating throughout the day, which eases when the person lies down
- Evidence of mucus in stools
- As with other gastrointestinal disorders, IBS patients experience nausea
Causes of IBS
The leading causes of IBS are:
- Intestinal Muscle Contractions Muscle layers line the intestinal walls. They contract as food passes through the digestive tract. If these contractions are strong and last long, they lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
- Nerve Abnormalities The nerves in the digestive system may experience abnormalities and discomfort when the abdomen extends due to stool. If neural signals between the intestines and brain are weak, the body may overreact to small changes in the digestive system. This causes pain, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Changes in Abdominal Bacteria Viruses, bacteria, and fungi generally reside in the intestines and promote good health. However, those suffering from IBS have microbes different from healthy people.
- Severe Gastroenteritis If an individual suffers from a chronic bout of diarrhea, he could also suffer from IBS.
- Life Stress If an individual has experienced stress early in life, he is more prone to IBS.
The chief risk factors for IBS are food allergies, hormones, stress, age, gender, family history, and mental disorders.
The doctor prepares a detailed medical history of the patient and his immediate family. Laboratory tests for this condition include stool, breath, lactose intolerance, blood and imaging tests.
Treatment of IBS
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for IBS, though there are ways of easing its symptoms. Medications prescribed to alleviate this condition include laxatives, anti-diarrhea medication, selective serotonin reuptake Inhibitors and painkillers.
- Eat a lot of fiber-rich food.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid gas-forming foods like cabbage, broccoli, carbonated drinks, and gluten-rich foods like barley, wheat, and rye.
IBS can be caused due to a variety of reasons and can cause acute discomfort and pain. At Kauvery Hospitals, we understand what IBS patients go through, and do all we can to ease their discomfort. Apart from massaging the area, providing hot and cold presses, and offering a diet that might help, we also keep our patients company so that they do not get depressed. No wonder people who recover from IBS wonder why they didn’t come here earlier.