What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a common (as common as 1 in 5 adults) gastrointestinal health (that affects large intestine colon) problem affecting large number of individuals. IBS various symptoms, such as bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, gas in the intestine and diarrhea and/or constipation. Some individuals may have alternating diarrhea and constipation. As, IBS is a chronic health problem, it need to be managed long term and unfortunately it does not have satisfactory and effective treatment. Although IBS is highly troublesome condition, it usually does not lead to serious problems such as colorectal cancer, which may be seen in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Majority of patients with IBS can be managed well with dietary changes, lifestyle modification and stress management, although some require medication and counseling.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome:

The symptoms of IBS vary widely among patient to patient. Some patients have only mild symptoms and some have more serious symptoms. Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Bloating in abdomen
  • Gas in abdomen (gastrointestinal tract)
  • Mucus in stool
  • Abdominal pain or abdominal cramp
  • Gastrocolic reflex (which is urge for bowel movement after every meal, commonly morning meal, an embarrassing situation indeed)
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation. Some patients have diarrhea, some have constipation and some have alternating diarrhea and constipation

Most individuals with IBS usually have remissions and exacerbations of symptoms. Exacerbations of symptoms usually occurs when there is mental stress, hence stress management is important in management of IBS.

When to seek medical consultation, if you have symptoms of IBS?

Although IBS is common health problem, affecting as many as 20% of adult population in some countries. Only few seek medical attention, accounting for less than 20% of total affected. It is therefore important to seek medical help, when there is persistent change in bowel habit or chronic gastrointestinal problems (although minor and usually ignored). The symptoms of IBS may be indicative of serious problems such as cancer, hence, it is important to get medical attention, if you have persistent symptoms of IBS. Symptoms that may indicate serious health problems such as rectal bleeding, sudden weight loss, abdominal cramp or pain that occurs at night and progressive. If you have any of these symptoms, consult your doctor.

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