Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome - a disorder of the lower intestinal tract. It involves abdominal pain and abnormal bowel
movements. Undergoing periods of stress often makes the symptoms worse.
It is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
- Abdominal distension , fullness, bloating
- Extra gas
- Sporadic Abdominal pain that stops or is reduced after a bowel movement, and that may come back after meals
- Chronic and frequent constipation, usually accompanied by pain
- Chronic and frequent diarrhea, usually accompanied by pain
- Red poop (hematochezia)
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- An alternating pattern of constipation or diarrhea
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
The goal of Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment is to relieve symptoms. Treatment is made up of both, lifestyle changes as well as dietary changes. Lifestyle changes:
- Regular exercise
- Improved sleep habits
- Reduction of anxiety
Dietary changes that may help relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms:
- Increasing dietary fiber
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
- Some experts recommend a lactose-free diet for 2 weeks to evaluate for possible lactase deficiency
- Counseling in cases of severe anxiety or depression
- Anti-diarrheal medications for those whose main symptom is diarrhea
- Low-dose antidepressants to help relieve intestinal pain
- Medications to stimulate bowel movements for those with constipation
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Causes
There are many possible causes:
- Problem with muscle movement in the intestine or a lower digestive tract
- Problem with the structure of the intestine
- IBS sometimes occurs after an intestinal infection (post-infectious IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can occur at any age, but it often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is more common in women.
The condition is the most common intestinal complaint for which patients are referred to a gastroenterologist.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tests & Diagnosis
Most of the time, your doctor can diagnose IBS with few medical tests
Some patients may need an endoscopy, especially if symptoms begin later in life. Younger patients with persistent diarrhea may need this
test to look for inflammatory bowel diseases that can cause similar symptoms, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. You may need
additional tests if you have blood in your stool, weight loss, signs of anemia, or you have recently traveled.
Patients over age 50 should be screened for colon cancer.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Coping
Irritable bowel syndrome may be a lifelong condition, but symptoms can often be improved or relieved through treatment and
maintenance of a lifestyle that supports digestive health.