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Irritable Bowel Syndrome- Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Home > Blogs > Irritable Bowel Syndrome- Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Irritable Bowel Syndrome- Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Gastro Science | Posted on 03/04/2023 by Dr. Abhinav Sharma



Do you often experience problems like abdominal pain, bloating or constipation? Have you ever thought it might be an indication of a condition named irritable bowel syndrome? Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common health problem among older adults. If you have observed that your bowels have become unpredictable and problematic, you may be suffering from this condition. When the body is out of balance, it can be difficult for things to work properly, resulting in IBS for many people. Finding the right IBS treatment begins with understanding the problem.

So, in this blog, we will cover everything related to irritable bowel syndrome. Make sure to give it a good read till the end.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a digestive disorder that usually affects the colon. It does 't usually cause permanent impairment, but it can be excruciating and hard to tolerate. Usually, this condition is caused by a lack of the right bacterial balance in the digestive system. That means things aren’t functioning as they should and that the system is more vulnerable to toxins including bad bacteria leading to serious health issues. It is characterized by symptoms in the intestine, lasting more than three months. The condition is more common in women than men.

What are irritable bowel syndrome symptoms?

The irritable bowel symptoms vary from person to person but abdominal pain and bloating are the common symptoms. Other IBS symptoms are:

  • Weight loss
  • Iron deficiency
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Pain that is not relieved by a bowel movement
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unknown. However, there are factors that contributed to IBS. Here are some of them:

  • Muscle contractions in the intestines
  • Nervous system
  • Severe infection
  • Early life stress
  • Changes in gut microbes

What are the triggers of irritable bowel syndrome?

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are often triggered by:

  • Food intolerance- The role of food allergy isn’t entirely understood yet. But, a lot of individuals experiencing worse symptoms consume or drink certain food or beverages which often leads to IBS. It contains dairy products, beans, cabbage, carbonated drinks, wheat, and milk.

 

  • Stress- The majority of individuals with IBS experience worse symptoms during episodes of increased stress. Stress can make the symptoms worse, but doesn’t cause them

What are the risk factors of irritable bowel syndrome?

You are more likely to experience the IBS if you:

  • Are a female
  • Are young
  • Family history of irritable bowel syndrome
  • Suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

Your doctor will initiate the irritable bowel syndrome diagnosis depending on your symptoms. The doctor might ask the following things to rule out other probable causes of your symptoms:

  • Stool sample to rule out infection
  • Blood tests to check anaemia and rule out celiac disease
  • Performing a colonoscopy
  • Upper endoscopy if you experience heartburn or indigestion
  • Lactose intolerance tests
  • Tests to detect issues with your bowel muscles

Your doctor will order a colonoscopy if he/she detects that the symptoms are because of colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn’s disease, or cancer.

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

Currently, no cure is available for irritable bowel syndrome treatment. However, the options are given by the doctor to relieve the symptoms. Your doctor will ask you to make some lifestyle changes.

Here are some lifestyle changes that you must include:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Make sure to cut back on caffeinated beverages
  • Eating a smaller portion of meals
  • Reduce stress
  • Take a good amount of deep-fried and spicy food
  • Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily

Medications

If lifestyle and dietary changes are not working well for you, your doctor might recommend using medications. Here are some drugs that will help in treating the IBS symptoms:

  • Control muscle spasms drug
  • Antibiotics
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Anti-constipation drug

Conclusion

It can be challenging to live with irritable bowel syndrome. The symptoms of IBS like stomach pain, gas, bloating, etc. often affect your life. But, you must know that IBS is manageable. However, there is no cure available as of now, you can improve the symptoms through some lifestyle and dietary changes. You must speak to your doctor if your symptoms aren’t going away. With proper consultation and guidance, you will certainly find an IBS treatment plan that’s suitable for you.

 

FAQs

How to calm irritable bowel syndrome?

Here are some tips that can help you to calm irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Take probiotics daily
  • Find ways to help you relax
  • Keep a diary of what you should eat and what not
  • Cook homemade meals using fresh ingredients and eat that only
  • Exercise daily

Can acid reflux cause irritable bowel syndrome?

Yes, irritable bowel syndrome sufferers also experience the symptoms of acid reflux such as heartburn and indigestion.

Can endometriosis cause irritable bowel syndrome?

Yes, endometriosis is not always the cause of irritable bowel syndrome but it can be in some cases, it can be the reason for irritable bowel syndrome.