A good majority of us experience gastrointestinal issues at some point in our lives. Common symptoms can range from mild heartburn, indigestion, bloating and constipation, to the more intense case commonly known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Between 3 and 20 percent of Americans experience IBS. The condition affects more women than men. Some people may have minor symptoms, while for others the symptoms are intense and disrupt daily life.
WHAT IS IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. It includes a group of intestinal symptoms that typically occur together. IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder. Functional GI disorders are related to problems with how your brain and your gut work together. These problems can cause your gut to be more sensitive and change how the muscles in your bowel contract. If your gut is more sensitive, you may feel more abdominal pain and bloating. Changes in how the muscles in your bowel contract lead to diarrhea, constipation, or both.
SYMPTOMS OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
The symptoms of IBS can vary, but typically include:
- abdominal pain
- bloating and gas
It’s not uncommon for people with IBS to have episodes of both constipation and diarrhea. Symptoms of IBS aren’t always persistent. They can resolve, make you feel relieved, only to make another return. However, some people do have continuous symptoms.
Women may tend to have symptoms more prominent around the time of menstruation, or they may have a longer list of symptoms during this time. With that being said, menopausal women have reported fewer symptoms than those women still experiencing menstruation.
CAUSES/TRIGGERS OF IBS
- Muscle contractions in the intestine. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscles that contract as they move food through your digestive tract. Contractions that are stronger and longer than normal can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. On the other hand, weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to constipation.
- Nervous System. Poor signal transmission between the brain and the intestines can cause your body to overreact to changes that normally occur in the digestive process, thus leading to pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Infection. IBS can occur after a severe case of diarrhea, due to a virus or an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines.
- Food. Many people have been shown to have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, including wheat, dairy, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, and carbonate drinks.
- Stress. Most people with IBS experience worse or more frequents symptoms during periods of increased stress. Stress can trigger IBS, but it does not cause it.
Although there is no cure for IBS, there are some home remedies that can help alleviate symptoms.
- Regular physical exercise.
- Cut back on caffeinated and carbonated beverages.
- Eat smaller meals
- Minimizing stress
- Taking Supplements: PRE-BIOTIC, PROBIOTIC, INFLAMMACORE, IGG, ETC. (CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT WORKS WELL FOR OUR PATIENTS)
- Avoid deep fried and spicy foods.