Irritable bowel syndrome is a long-lasting condition affecting the large intestine. It results to the dysfunction of the bowel. Even though irritable bowel syndrome can cause distress, it does not impair the bowel and will not always result to life-threatening ailments.
This is a common form of intestinal disorder that affects women and typically starts during early adulthood. The individual might experience flare-ups of symptoms throughout life. Even though there is no available cure, the condition can be controlled.
What is the cause?
The reason why irritable bowel syndrome arises is not fully understood. Any alterations in the muscles and nerves in the bowel or central nervous system might be a cause.
Some foods can trigger the attacks. Oftentimes, the signs of irritable bowel syndrome can be triggered by intestinal gas or ailments such as the stomach flu. Other possible triggers include emotional stress, hormonal changes or depression.
What are the signs?
The usual indications that might arise include:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Excessive gas
- Abdominal pain or cramping that range from mild to severe
Other signs that might be present include:
- Sensation of fullness in the rectum
The signs often manifest after eating a large meal or if under stress. Women are likely to experience more symptoms during the menstrual period. The individual will also feel better after a bowel movement.
Management of irritable bowel syndrome
Even today, there is no available cure for irritable bowel syndrome. Nevertheless, proper control of the diet and stress levels typically lessens the symptoms. Some medications are also given for relief.
- Diet – the individual should eat smaller meals instead of 3 large meals. Avoid foods such as beans, carbonated beverages and cabbage.
- Food diary – the individual should note down foods eaten to check if a food triggers or worsens the symptoms.
- Stress – the doctor will ask the individual to identify factors that causes stress in life and suggest ways to control them.
- Medications – some of the medications that might be prescribed by the doctor include bulk-forming agents, antidepressants, antispasmodic drugs and medications for diarrhea or constipation.