Irritable Bowel Syndrome
We know that stomach rumbling is the worst. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one such condition in which the patient experiences abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and constipation. Many researchers have made a vigorous effort to find the cause of IBS, but it is still unclear; it may be related to an overly sensitive immune system or colon. Dr. Anukalp Prakash explains in detail what is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, its symptoms, causes, types, diagnosis, and treatment.
Overview: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder that causes severe pain in the stomach and leaves the patient with severe diarrhoea and constipation. The exact cause is unknown, and the IBS is only declared to the patient based on the symptoms. People with IBS experience notable changes in bowel movements, resulting in diarrhoea and constipation. When the intestines become irritated, it results in irritable bowel syndrome.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may vary from person to person. Below are some known symptoms of IBS.
The patient might feel extreme pain in the abdominal area due to disturbances in bowel movement.
When the individual finds it difficult to pass or has a feeling of an incomplete bowel movement, it indicates constipation.
You may suffer cramping in your gut or feel like your bowel movement isn’t finished. Many sufferers have gassiness and see their abdomen as swollen. Regular restroom visits and ongoing pain might make life more difficult.
Bloating & Excess Gas
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) frequently experience bloating. IBS sufferers frequently complain of gas, including bloating, significantly affecting their ability to go about their everyday lives. Bloating is frequently cited as one of the more troubling IBS symptoms.
IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D) is characterised by frequent bowel motions, loose, watery stools, cramps, bloating, and stomach pain.
Passing mucus from the rectum
Individuals with IBS experience mucus from the rectum. If there is a large amount of mucus in the stool, it indicates Irritable bowel syndrome.
The symptoms of IBS may go on for some time, but they return. Some individuals do, however, experience ongoing symptoms.
Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Though the exact cause of IBS is still unknown, certain risk factors can trigger IBS.
- Frequently contracting food poisoning
- Being too exposed to antibiotics
- Weak intestinal contractions
- Dietary factors
- Microbial imbalance
- Stress and anxiety
- Abnormalities in the nerves in your digestive system
Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
As the first step, the doctor conducts a physical exam and understands a medical history. After that, the healthcare provider will further ask about the existing symptoms so that a proper diagnosis can be made. Below are some questions that the doctor may ask the patient.
- What is the frequency of the symptoms?
- Are you on any medication?
- Have you noticed any change in the bowel movement?
- Do you experience any pain during bowel movements?
- Do you have any stressful events in your life?
You might require additional testing depending on your symptoms to confirm a diagnosis. Other conditions that resemble IBS can be ruled out using blood tests, stool samples, and X-rays can rule out other conditions that resemble IBS.
There are specific additional tests recommended for IBS:-
- Upper endoscopy
- Lactose intolerance tests
- Stool tests
- Breath test for bacterial overgrowth
Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS treatment aims to reduce symptoms as much as possible to allow you to lead an everyday life.
- Making necessary dietary and lifestyle adjustments
- Allow yourself to control your stress levels to decrease the symptoms
- Avoid eating things that make you sick
- Take a good night’s sleep
- Eat meals high in fibre
- Drink a lot of water
- Perform physical exercises daily
- Take fibre supplements (as prescribed)
- Over-the-counter laxatives
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Pain medication to ease bloating and discomfort in the abdomen
Things that are a BIG NO:-
- Foods that can surely be high in gas like carbonated and alcoholic drinks and certain food items may lead to increase gassiness.
- Certain carbohydrates, including lactose, fructose, fructans, and other FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), might cause sensitivity in certain people. Certain cereals, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products contain FODMAPs.
- According to research, even those without celiac disease who stop consuming gluten (wheat, barley, and rye) find improvements in their diarrhoea symptoms.
Though there is no cure for IBS, proper diagnosis and on-time treatment can help the individual manage the symptoms and regain a better quality of life. To know more about Irritable bowel syndrome, book your appointment today with Dr. Anukalp Prakash.
How does Irritable Bowel Syndrome affect my body?
Irritable bowel syndrome causes cramps, stomach aches, severe bloating and gas and does make you feel weak after severe diarrhoea.
Who is at risk for developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
People above the age of 40 are at risk of developing IBS. However, your eating habits and not-so-strong immune system can also trigger IBS. As per research, women are more prone to be affected by Irritable bowel syndrome than men.
What triggers Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Several things can trigger IBS, like carbonated drinks, fatty undigestible food items and people who are lactose intolerant.
Can I prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
There is no cure or prevention for Irritable Bowel syndrome; however, individuals can do certain things not to trigger it. You can take steps to prevent IBS symptoms by making lifestyle changes that include a nutritious diet, lowering stress, and taking medications as directed.