Understanding Symptoms and Treatment for IBS IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This condition may sound minor, but it can drastically change a person’s life. IBS affects the colon as a functional disorder, which means it does not cause damage to the rest of the digestive tract. Even though other organs are not harmed by IBS, the condition will still lead to serious changes in a person’s life. IBS symptoms typically include abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. These symptoms are associated with irritation and inflammation of the nerve endings in the colon, causing the pain, spasms, and unusual activity. Many problems can cause irritation and inflammation, including a high-fat diet, high-stress life, or lack of exercise. Dietary changes can alleviate many symptoms associated with IBS. Foods like alcohol, coffee, sodas, fried or greasy food can all trigger inflammation, causing IBS symptoms to return. Eating too much, too quickly, or waiting a long time between meals can change pH in the digestive system, putting stress on the bowel. Other conditions, like trauma, depression, and stress can also aggravate symptoms. However, it is important to know that mental health does not cause IBS.
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Because symptoms of IBS can vary among different people, it is important to find a doctor to diagnose the condition. A doctor can rule out other medical conditions, and perform tests which can help diagnose IBS. Some of these tests include a colonoscopy, a stool parasite culture, or x-rays of the lower GI tract and small bowel. Although there is no cure for IBS, you and your doctor work together to find new ways to manage symptoms.
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Changing diet and lifestyle habits is the first, and often best, way to manage IBS symptoms. Lifestyle changes include managing stress, through daily exercise, a full night’s sleep, and seeking therapy or counseling. If lifestyle and dietary changes do not manage symptoms well enough, there are prescriptions which can help. Laxatives help ease constipation from IBS. If the symptom is diarrhea, your doctor may prescribe loperamide. A prescribed anti-spasmodic medication can reduce involuntary muscle spasms in the colon. These medications can reduce pain and cramps. Not only can they reduce pain while the person is awake, but they help the individual sleep better, too. There is less urge to get up throughout the night, or pain to keep you awake. Lack of sleep can trigger IBS symptoms, so these drugs can really help some people. Go here for more info about IBS symptoms and treatment options. Get started by clicking here to read about how other people manage IBS successfully. We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to learn more about IBS.