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What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

Do you suffer from recurrent stomach pain accompanied with diarrhoea or constipation? You are not alone. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or IBS) affects 10-20% of the people in our country. Women make up 70% of that number. Doctors diagnose IBS frequently in their offices. But what are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?


The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may worsen when you are stressed, do not eat healthy foods, or after eating a big meal. Some women experience more frequent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome during their menstrual periods.


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Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is also known as irritable or spastic colon, and there is no real understanding of why it exists, although it seems to occur when the muscles that line the walls of the intestines and the colon, go into spasm. The muscles contract for no apparent reason, causing pain and diarrhea alternating with constipation. Other symptoms include a cramping pain in the abdomen, swelling, general malaise and lethargy, back pain, and often, excessive wind. Symptoms can subside and even disappear for long periods of time, but many sufferers continue to experience symptoms recurrently throughout their lives. It is a chronic, irritating, and uncomfortable condition, but it is not life-threatening and the symptoms can be reduced in many cases by proper treatment.

Massage, Relaxation Techniques (Including Yoga, Meditation, and Biofeedback) All these therapies are beneficial. Herbal Medicine A soothing tea of camomile, peppermint, and fennel is recommended. Herbalists may prescribe cramp bark, golden seal, wild yam, and licorice.

Many women unfortunately deal with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome months before they seek help. Many are just too embarrassed to seek help. IBS is prevalent in the US and affects one in five adults, three times as many women as men. In a recently conducted poll, 58 percent of health care practitioners said IBS was easy to diagnose. Yet the 3,000 women sampled in the survey said it took more than three years and trips to three different doctors to finally get an IBS diagnosis.

Some people with IBS find that careful eating helps reduce or eliminate IBS symptoms. You might try avoiding very large meals, drinks with caffeine, spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, some dairy products, and foods that contain gluten. Some people find that adding fiber ??? eating more fruits and vegetables, for instance ??? and drinking more water can help eliminate IBS symptoms, too.

Another one of the more common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is chronic constipation with stomach pain or discomfort. You may also have other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating, mucus in your bowel movement, or feeling that you have not finished your bowel movement. Still more symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are gas, a strong urge to have a bowel movement and mucus in your stool.

It is estimated that about 30 percent of people in the West has suffered from IBS at some stage, and 13 percent of those do so regularly. IBS appears to be brought on and exacerbated by anxiety, stress, and nervous problems. Symptoms often appear worse during menstruation. Other causal factors include food intolerance.

Sources: AWHONN (Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses), Cell Tech, Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common problem with the intestines. Functional disorder means there is a problem with the function of a part of the body, but there is no abnormality in the structure. This disorder most commonly affects people between the ages of 20 and 30 and is twice as common in women as in men. The syndrome can be divided into four types depending on which is the main symptom - abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation or diarrhoea alternating with constipation.

About the author:
Melinda Kempenich is the mother of three children and the wife
of a state representative from the great State of North Dakota.
Her goal is to help everyone find optimal health.

Causes The cause is not clear. It may have something to do with overactivity of parts of the gut. The gut is a long muscular tube that goes from the mouth to the anus. The small and large bowel (also called the small and large intestine) are parts of the gut inside the abdomen. Food is passed along by regular contractions (squeezes) of the muscles in the wall of the gut.

One resource to look at would be 'friendly bacteria' as they play a vital role in our overall health. There are billions of bacteria residing in the gastro-intestinal tract. Some of them are 'friendly' bacteria while others are harmful with the potential to cause disease. Friendly bacteria fight against harmful micro-organisms by altering the acidity of the region they inhabit making it inhospitable for unfriendly bacteria. They produce specific antibiotic substances, and they deprive unfriendly bacteria of their nutrients. The overuse of antibiotics, antacids, or laxatives, can often disturb the bacterial microflora of the bowel. Probiotics is a term used to describe organisms that benefit life by inhabiting the intestinal tract. Acidophilus benefits the small intestine. Bifidus benefits the large intestine. They replenish the 'friendly bacteria', and are needed for digestion and for the manufacture of the B vitamins.

It is very important that pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome does not wake you up at night. If it does, contact your health care provider to rule out other more serious conditions. Also there is no association between IBS and weight loss and/or bleeding. If you have either of these symptoms, again, contact your health care provider immediately.

 
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IBS treatment


Treatment for IBS, as for any physiological condition, works best when it successfully addresses the cause of the condition. The various conditions that can cause IBS, outlined in the Diagnosis and Etiology sections above, require specific treatments. High rates of success in resolving IBS symptoms have been reported when treatment is specifically tailored to the underlying causes revealed through proper testing for the range of known causes of IBS symptoms.

Different food combinations can cause IBS symptoms in different individuals: keep a detailed record of everything you eat and drink, and of all bowel movements and their consistency.

Orthodox medical treatment has been largely unsuccessful in the treatment of IBS. Antispasmodic drugs are often recommended but in many cases they are ineffective. The best way of controlling the condition is by reducing and learning to cope with stress, and by eating a diet that does not exacerbate the condition.

While the exact cause of IBS is unknown. In people with this problem the nerves lining the colon are thought to be more sensitive than normal to bowel contractions and the passage of gas and fluid, causing pain and cramping. The nerves that control the muscles in the gut may overreact to stimuli like gas or the passage of food following a meal. This may cause painful spasms and contractions that speed or slow the passage of stool through the colon, resulting in diarrhea or constipation. Together, these actions create a painful cycle. Symptoms are often numerous and vague. In some women, having a bowel movement will often relieve the pain.

Consult a qualified practitioner/therapist for: Counseling and Hypnotherapy Both have been shown to be very effective in reducing the symptoms. Hypnotherapy has a particularly good record.

What is IBS? It is known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and also has a variety of names such as: Mucus colitis, Nervous Colitis, Spastic colon, Nervous colon, Irritated colon, Unstable colon. It is actually one of the most common intestinal problems and often responsible for work absenteeism.

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can definitely be a nuisance and annoying but you can learn to deal with this. If you take the time to find your triggers you can help yourself to not have as many attacks. So equip yourself with knowledge and take back control!

Frequently the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome alternate, but you usually have one symptom more predominantly than the other. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome occur with no warning or reason. Therefore you need to learn what can cause your IBS to flare up.

Symptoms Abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort are the main symptoms of IBS. However, symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people have constipation, which means hard, difficult-to-pass, or infrequent bowel movements. Often these people report straining and cramping when trying to have a bowel movement but cannot eliminate any stool, or they are able to eliminate only a small amount.

Treatment The best way to handle IBS is to eat a healthy diet, avoid foods that seem to make you feel worse and find ways to handle your stress.

One of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is frequent stomach pain in combination with explosive diarrhoea or loose bowel movements. Your symptoms may be mild or severe and usually alternate between the two from day to day.

Irritable bowl syndrome is painful, but not serious, and most people who have it can lead active, productive lives if they change their diets, get regular exercise, and replace needed nutrients. So rather than to suffer in silence, please know that you are not alone and do seek help from a health care provider if you cannot find comfort or have unanswered questions or concerns. Optimal health is attainable by making sure your body has the three basic biological requirements, enzymes, friendly bacteria, and minerals.

So how does one diagnose IBS? Unlike other medical conditions, there are no good screening tools or tests for IBS. Once diagnosed, there are several options for treatment. It's important to understand that there is no cure for irritable bowl syndrome. The goal of treatment is to lessen the symptoms. Depending on your symptoms, your health care provider may include one or a combination of different approaches. These may include diet therapy, especially if food triggers can be identified. Fiber supplements, drugs, psychological counseling, behavior therapy, and hypnosis may also be suggested. Some scientists believe a virus or bacterium may play a role as well as stress and diet.

Antispasmodic drugs, which may ease cramping - examples include mebeverine, belladonna, hyoscine and peppermint oil capsules Read more on Arthritis. Check out for diseases and herbal remedies.

How do you learn to live with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome? You try and learn what foods cause you to experience your symptoms. It is suggested that your fat intake has a big impact on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Try to cut back on high fat intake and begin making a diary of what you eat and how much and write down when you have one of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This will help you pinpoint what triggers your symptoms. Then you can learn how to keep it from happening as often. There is no cure for IBS but you can learn to live with the symptoms and spread out the attacks.

Treatment Diet and Nutrition Research shows that eating more fiber, in the form of oats, dried beans, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables, can greatly reduce the symptoms of IBS, but improvement may take months rather than weeks. Also, bear in mind that wheat bran, often prescribed as the standard treatment for IBS, can actually make the condition worse for some sufferers. Eat plenty of natural, unsweetened live yogurt or take daily supplements of Lactobacillus acidophilus to boost the levels of healthy bacteria in the digestive system.

Aromatherapy

Essential oils of peppermint or sassafras help relaxation and reduce painful spasms.

Acupuncture This can be beneficial in helping to relieve IBS. Read out for herbal medicines. Check out herbal supplements and skin disorders


 
 
     
 
 





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