IBS is also named spastic or irritable colon and mucous or spastic colitis. This is completely different disease as compared to inflammatory bowel disease and is not associated with other intestinal diseases. Irritable bowel syndrome refers to the group of intestinal symptoms which are often present together.
IBS affects the digestive system and is a general disorder; causing symptoms such as cramps of stomach, bloating, constipation and diarrhea; Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic pathological state which needs to be managed in the long term. Just a few patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, show severe symptoms. Mostly symptoms of patients can be managed by changing their diet, adjustments in daily routine and managing stress. Chronic manifestations are mitigated with aid of medicines and proper counseling.
Conditions causing Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Obvious reason for Irritable bowel syndrome is still ambiguous. Factors that play a role include:
- Contraction of muscles in the intestine: The intestinal wall is lined with muscle layers which contract while food passages through the digestive tract. Stronger and more prolonged contraction may cause production of gas and diarrhea.
Mild intestinal contractions may slower the movement of food and lead to desiccated and hard stools.
- Nervous System: Nerve abnormalities in the digestive system can lead the patient to more discomfort than usual when the abdomen is distended due to bloating or stool.
Weak coordination among brain and intestines through signals lead the body to overreact to changes which in normal situations occur during digestion, and result in constipation, diarrhea, or pain.
- Infections: Irritable bowel syndrome may develop after a severe episode of diarrhea known as gastroenteritis which may be due to some flora or virus.
Excess of bacteria in the gut may also be a predisposing factor which is referred to as bacterial overgrowth.
Triggering agents of Irritable bowel syndrome:
Following agents are known to trigger condition of irritable bowel syndrome:
- Food: The part that different allergies and intolerance of food play in IBS is still not completely known. Severe allergies due to food sometimes causes IBS, however various patients get IBS symptoms worsen when they eat or drink specific kind of foods and drinks, such as wheat, citrus fruits, dairy products, beans, milk, cabbage and sodas.
Tension: Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome show physical manifestion that worsen or become show more often in times of prolonged stress. However, stress can only worsen symptoms, it does not initiate them.
Signs and symptoms of IBS:
It shows different signs and symptoms in different patients, but often persists over a longer period of time. The most widespread ones are:
- Pain in abdomen, cramps, or bloating associated with bowel motility
- Absurd bowel movements
- Changes in bowel patterns
Other commonly associated symptoms include bloating, gas or mucus in the intestines and stool. It is necessary to see the doctor when patient is suffering from persistent bowel changes and various other signs or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Patient usually indicates severe medical condition, for instance cancer of colon. Severe signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Anemia due to deficiency of iron
- Nocturnal diarrhea
- Bleeding from rectum
- Problems with swallowing
- Vomiting unexplained causes
- Pain is constant, does not go away with gas or bowel movements
- Weight loss
Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome:
IBS treatment focuses on mitigating symptoms for giving a normal life to patient:
Minor signs and symptoms of IBS are mostly controlled by stress management and taking precautions in food and daily routine. Try:
- Preventing meals provoking symptoms
- Eating high fiber foods
- Drinking a lot of water
- Proper sleep
- Exercise on regular basis
Changes in lifestyle:
Some changes in diet and daily routine can often relieve irritable bowel syndrome. These changes will be recognized but body will take time to respond to them. For example:
- Eat at normal times: Do not skip meals, and make a timetable for eating to help regulate your bowel movements. If patient is constipated, eating large quantity of high fiber meals usually helps in the movement of food through intestines.
- Peppermint: According to a research in patients having IBS with diarrhea, a specially coated tablet with menthol in the intestines which releases peppermint oil slowly into the small intestine reduces bloating, frequent urination, and pain during bowel movements.