Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder targeting the gastrointestinal tract. Constipation, severe diarrhea, and abdominal pain are the key symptoms of IBS. IBS, being a chronic disease, requires long-term treatment.
Most people suffering from IBS have mild symptoms, and the possibility of the symptoms becoming severe is rare. However, some individuals can manage their symptoms by controlling their diet, way of life, and stress. In addition, medication and counseling might be used to manage more severe symptoms.
IBS neither changes the tissue in the intestines nor increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
What are the different types of IBS?
Researchers classify IBS based on the sorts of bowel movement problems one encounters. The type of medication differs with the type of IBS one has
People suffering from IBS usually experience alternate periods of normal and irregular bowels. The type of IBS has been categorized by bowel movement traits, including the following.
IBS-C: In this type of IBS, a person also experiences constipation; most of their feces are lumpy and firm.
IBS-D: The majority of the fecal matter is watery and loose.
IBS-M: One may experience both loose and watery bowel movements and hard, lumpy bowel movements on the same day if they have this type of IBS.
What are the causes of IBS?
The exact cause of IBS is still unknown to science. However, the following are the most prominent factors leading to IBS.
Intestinal muscle contractions: Layers of muscle that contract as they carry food through one’s digestive tract line the inside of the intestines. Gas, bloating, and diarrhea might result in stronger and longer than irregular contractions. Weak contractions might hinder the passage of food and result in dry, firm stools.
Nervous system: When one’s abdomen is stretched from gas or stools or due to problems with the nerves in the digestive system, one may develop IBS. The body may overreact to normal changes in the digestive process if brain and gut signals are not properly synchronized. Pain, diarrhea, or constipation may follow.
Serious infection: IBS may appear after a severe case of diarrhea brought on by germs or a virus. It is known as gastroenteritis. Excessive growth of bacteria in the gut can also cause IBS.
Young age stress: Individuals who have experienced stressful situations, particularly as children, tend to exhibit greater IBS symptoms.
Gut microbial changes: Examples include modifications to the bacteria, fungi, and viruses normally found in the intestines and are important for maintaining health. According to research, those with IBS may have different microorganisms than those without the condition.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
– Cramping or pain in the bottom part of the abdomen
– Stiff or loose bowels
– Increased gas.
– The feces contain mucus (may look whitish).
Method of diagnosis
Judging from the symptoms one experiences, the doctor can determine if they have IBS. To eliminate other potential causes of the symptoms, the healthcare professional may also do one or more of the following actions:
– To rule out any food sensitivities, The doctor may ask one about any diet changes.
– Examine a sample of the stools to rule out infection
– Perform blood tests to rule out celiac disease and check for anemia.
– Conduct a colonoscopy
Typically, the doctor will only request a colonoscopy if they believe colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), or cancer is to blame for the symptoms.
Method of treatment
Without the aid of medicine, certain lifestyle adjustments or at-home therapies may assist in reducing the IBS symptoms. These lifestyle modifications include, for instance:
– Taking part in regular physical activity
– Reducing coffee consumption because it stimulates the intestines
– Eating smaller meals
– Reducing stress
– Avoiding spicy or deep-fried foods
If needed, the doctor might also prescribe the following along with lifestyle changes
– Antidepressants to rule out any anxiety accompanying abdominal pain
– Medicine for diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation
– Probiotics to improve the functioning of the gut