For many people, stomach issues are a common problem. From regular constipation and diarrhea to cramping and bloating, there are many ways the stomach can be affected on a regular basis. If you suffer from stomach problems, it is essential that you speak to a physician. Most often, stomach issues are related to irritable bowel syndrome and by treating the IBS condition, you can see positive results and a decrease in symptoms.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Also known as IBS, irritable bowel syndrome is an illness where the large intestine is affected in a negative way. IBS will create varying symptoms based on the individual. One patient might have severe abdominal pain while another might have an increase in gas. Cramping, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea are also included in symptoms of IBS.
IBS is known as a functional disease and comes in two forms; IBS-D and IBS-C. With IBS-D, it means that that individual will have recurring or chronic diarrhea. With IBS-C, the patient will have recurring constipation with discomfort and abdominal pain. Many patients will alternate between constipation and diarrhea.
Understanding the Difference in IBS-D and IBS-C
With IBS-D, the patient will have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. Common symptoms of this condition can include frequent need to go to the bathroom with bowel movements and not feeling as though the bowels were emptied completely after going to the bathroom. Individuals may also feel nauseated as well as has gas, abdominal pain or discomfort.
With IBS-C, the patient will have irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. Common symptoms of this condition include the infrequent bowel movements, straining during a bowel movement and the feeling that the bowel movement is not complete. Individuals may feel like they need to go to the bathroom but are unable to have a bowel movement once doing so. Bloating and gas can be present as well as abdominal pain.
Causes of IBS
The exact underlying cause of IBS is unknown. Physicians agree that IBS is created based on several factors including the motility of the GI tract as well as food intolerances. Individuals can be affected by IBS if they have abnormal movement in the colon and small intestines as well as food sensitivities. Individuals who suffer from IBS can benefit from keeping track of foods and drinks each day, and how the stomach reacts.
It is beneficial to keep a food diary as it can provide insight into what triggers IBS symptoms. For many, gassy foods like broccoli and cabbage are to be avoided. Everyone is affected by food differently, so while one person might each ice cream and have diarrhea, later on, another person is totally fine after a bowl of ice cream. Finding what triggers IBS symptoms can be the first step in taking care of the condition.
There is no super drug that can completely cure IBS. Because every patient is different, the goal is to treat the symptoms, so the effect of IBS is minimal. A food diary as mentioned above is a big factor in determining what sets off the symptoms. By simply avoiding these foods, you can feel better. Management of stress can also play a factor as being nervous or stressed out can trigger symptoms. You can also rely on relaxation techniques, hypnosis directed at the gut, pain management techniques, and other options.
Meeting with a physician and having yourself diagnosed with IBS is the first step to feeling better. Once you have a proper diagnosis, you can move on to treating the condition and hopefully alleviating the symptoms associated with the disease.