If you’re dealing with symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation, you may be wondering if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine, and while it can be painful and uncomfortable. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for IBS, so you can better manage your condition and find relief from your symptoms.
What causes IBS?
There is no clear evidence of what exactly causes IBS, but it is believed to be a combination of factors. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:
Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as IBS are problems with brain-gut interaction—how your brain and gut work together. Experts think that problems with brain-gut interaction may affect how your body works and cause IBS symptoms.National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
What are the symptoms of IBS?
IBS symptoms can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. You may also feel like you haven’t completed a bowel movement or have mucus in your stood. While IBS can be painful, it does not damage the intestines or other parts of the digestive system.
How is IBS diagnosed?
No one test can diagnose IBS, so diagnosis is typically based on a review of symptoms and ruling out other potential causes. Your healthcare provider may also recommend tests like blood tests, stool tests, or imaging tests to rule out other conditions.
What are the treatment options for IBS?
Treatment for IBS focuses on relieving symptoms, and the condition can usually be controlled with diet, stress management, and medication. IBS is a chronic condition, so there is no cure. However, with treatment, most people with IBS can manage their symptoms and live relatively normal lives.
Tips and advice
If you are living with IBS, managing your condition can often feel like a challenge. However, there are many things you can do to help manage your symptoms and find relief. Some tips and advice for living with IBS include adopting healthy eating habits, reducing stress and anxiety, engaging in regular physical activity, and finding support from friends, family, or a support group. IBS can be a difficult condition to deal with, but you don’t have to go through it alone. There are many resources and people who can help you on your journey towards managing your IBS.