Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a very prevalent condition that affects the bowels. It is a lifelong disease that causes cramping, pain, swelling in the abdomen region, gas, diarrhea or constipation. 

Although the symptoms are very discomforting, IBS does not cause any structural changes in the bowels or increase the risk of intestinal cancer.

Some patients can keep symptoms under control through simple dietary changes while others may suffer from severe situations.

Symptoms might appear, exacerbate and disappear.

If the patient diagnosed with IBS suffers from any of the symptoms below, either the diagnosis is incorrect or an underlying cause such as colon cancer is contributing to their situation:

Rectal bleeding,

Severe stomach ache at night,

Weight loss.

In IBS, the bowels are either over-active which causes cramping, swelling and pain or they are under-active which causes constipation.

Some complaints might be due to the impairment in the neural transmission between the central nervous system and the bowels.

Also, certain foods such as chocolate, spices, cereals or foods with high fat content have been known to exacerbate symptoms.

Stress is also an aggravating factor in IBS.

Symptoms may also aggravate during menstruation.

Risk factors for IBS

More prevalent in individuals younger than 45 years of age.

It is 2 times more prevalent in women.

People with a family history of IBS are more at risk.

IBS is also usually more prevalent in people with mental conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Nutritional disorders are also prevalent among IBS patients due to hemorrhoids or avoiding certain types of food. The disease also has a very negative effect on the patient's quality of life.

Treatment

As the main causes of IBS are unknown, the main goal of the treatment is to alleviate symptoms. For symptoms that can not be taken under control with changes in diet or lifestyle, nutritional supplements with fiber content, diarrhea medication or medication that prevent bowel contractions can be prescribed by a physician.

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