Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a comprehensive set of health issues revolving around the digestive system. There are several symptoms a patient can experience before they are diagnosed. They include cramps, feeling bloated, diarrhea and sometimes constipation. In case you have these symptoms, it is wise to speak with your doctor for an official diagnosis. Self-diagnosing is the first step, but a medical professional will be able to see the bigger picture. Sometimes these symptoms are not related to IBS at all, and there are other issues at work. IBS also has similar symptoms as bowel cancer but before you scare yourself, see a doctor find out what is going on.
More Than Meets the Eye
As it is a condition consisting of several smaller disease, the symptoms are different in each patient. If someone you know suffers from it and then you are diagnosed, the experience will be different. And also the severity of the symptoms you can experience will not be the same as other people have. They might disappear for several days or months and return with a new power.
Many patients note that there are foods that bring the symptoms on and that stress is another critical factor to consider. Stress is a dominant driver for the body to change its behavior or trigger specific health issues and allergies, so look at that aspect as well.
IBS is ubiquitous and can appear when you are between the ages of 20 and 30, and it affects more women than men. IBS can trigger other symptoms and cause other health issues to become more apparent as well. These include chronic fatigue syndrome and frequent headaches and backaches. It can also affect the anxiety level you experience and bring on depression. Many people don’t know that there is a link between the brain and the gut called the gut-brain axis. It is a biochemical signaling system that happens between the brain and human GI tract as the central nervous system regulates the levels of gut bacteria and the microbiological processes going on in the body.
Here To Stay
Many patients develop IBS after a gastroenteritis infection, but it is also genetic, and immunity-related triggers people experience. There currently is no known definite cause for IBS. However, one of the theories is that people who exhibit IBS symptoms are more sensitive when it comes to their gut digesting food. If the stomach us showing sign of pain, it triggers constipation or diarrhea since the food is going through the abdomen too quickly or too slowly.
It is a lifetime issue. At the moment there is no known cure, but the symptoms are manageable. It will affect your lifestyle as well as your diet since quite a few changes have to be made to make your life easier. It will improve the quality of life overall as well since some adjustments to the diet will make you re-think your diet plans.
Change In the Lifestyle Helps
Find the foods that seem to trigger the symptoms and cross them out of your diet or replace with other foods. The amount of fiber you eat can also affect the strength and the regularity of the symptoms as can your level of exercise. A more active lifestyle helps to manage the symptoms and puts less stress on the gut.
Your doctor can prescribe medication to treat individual symptoms, but it will not be a cure for IBS. Once it’s diagnosed, it’s a more or less regular guest, but it’s here to stay. Life with IBS can be hectic and unpredictable. It comes, and it goes, and sometimes the symptoms flare up seemingly out of nowhere.
Physical and Emotional Effects
It affects people’s self-esteem and emotional state as well, so anxiety and depression are everyday occurrences in patients with IBS. It is essential to seek help when you start feeling down because the symptoms can be quite debilitating and affect your daily life. Depression and anxiety can have a worse effect than IBS itself so seek out professional help through antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy since you are not the only one going through IBS. It can make you feel very lonely so reaching out is the first step of managing the symptoms of both IBS and depression and anxiety that often comes with them.
IBS is more of an annoyance rather than a severe threat to your health in general. No evidence suggests a link between IBS and cancer, so if a patient develops bowel cancer, it has other causes. IBS also does not cause additional gut-related conditions to appear, so you don’t have to worry about anything like that.
It is not always an easy subject to bring up but if you have the opportunity to talk about it with your family, closes friends or just your doctor – it can help you balance the problem and manage the symptoms when they re-appear.