IBS Symptoms, Causes & Solutions

IBSIBS Symptoms Can Cause Frequent Stomach Issues

As many as 55 million people in the US have some form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In general, IBS refers to a sensitive stomach that is easily irritated causing symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, stomachaches, and the list goes on. It is not caused by internal damage and does not show up on a colonoscopy. There are typically no signs of ulcers or inflammation with IBS. It is estimated that 30% of people who visit a gastroenterologist in fear of something more serious turn out to have IBS. Still, it is often misdiagnosed as colitis, spastic colon, or mucous colitis.

There are a number of reasons IBS is believed to bother some people, including irregular muscle contractions that help your system naturally remove waste. If certain trigger foods or activities are introduced to someone with it, the results are often instantaneous. While coffee makes many people have to use the restroom, someone with IBS may also experience painful bloating or diarrhea that persists throughout the day. Some patients with IBS describe the effects as so instantaneous they can still be eating a certain food when the familiar pain, bloating, or other symptoms arise. So how do you know if you have IBS? And what sorts of treatment options are available for those with Irritable Bowl Syndrome?

Symptoms Associated With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Like many diagnoses, IBS can affect different people in different ways. For some the symptoms are worse or more continuous than for others. Considering 1 out of every 5 adults suffer from IBS, you are certainly not alone when you are experiencing your symptoms. Women are the most likely candidates for IBS, especially if they are in their late teens or twenties.

The most common symptoms associated with IBS include:

  • Painful gas and bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Regular bloating
  • Uncomfortable cramping

To diagnose IBS, you will need a through physical exam, including an analysis of past health records. Further tests can also help diagnose IBS, including a stool evaluation and a sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy produces images of your colon and large intestine to identify any further complications that might be contributing to your stomach troubles.

What Are Known Causes of IBS?

If you are diagnosed with IBS you might be wondering, why me?

There are a number of factors associated with IBS, including:

  • Diet
  • Emotional stress
  • Bacteria growth in the small intestine
  • Genetics, some believe IBS can be inherited although this is not yet conclusive
  • Gastroenteritis, or an infection (either bacterial or viral) in the stomach and intestines
  • Improper colon movement, either too fast or too slow
  • Irregular reproductive hormones (Learn More)

How To Treat IBS

Since IBS does not show up on a colonoscopy or require surgery to fix, the solutions often rely on your own lifestyle. Some patients are able to reduce symptoms of IBS by simply changing the foods they eat, or reducing their stress. There is not one sure cause of IBS, and so it often takes some experimentation to uncover what triggers your IBS.

IBS Treatment Options Include:

1. Diet Modification, Uncovering Your Trigger Foods For IBS

Keeping a food journal can help you identify which foods set your IBS into motion. You can start to eat the foods you don’t think cause a reaction, and then slowly begin to add (one at a time) other foods. Simultaneously record what you eat and how you feel and before long you will be able to pinpoint foods that are and are not a trigger for your IBS.

It’s not just what you eat, but how you eat it. Eating smaller meals throughout your day instead of eating a few larger meals can help the body better digest. It’s also important to take your time while you eat; skip eating and driving or watching TV while you eat.

Some of the most common foods that trigger IBS symptoms include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Solid chocolate
  • Oils
  • Coffee (with or without caffeine)
  • Dark meat and red meat
  • Skin from meat, or other oily, fatty foods
  • Drinks with carbonation

2. Reduce Your Stress

Have you ever been so nervous that you got butterflies or a tummy ache? We all have! Your gut is internally connected with your emotional stability, and so stress can literally make your stomach hurt. Reducing stress has been found helpful for people suffering from IBS. Interestingly, more than half of people with IBS have high anxiety.

3. Medications For IBS

If your symptoms persist no matter what, you may require further testing to make sure something more serious is not to blame. When traditional methods and lifestyle changes are not effective, certain medications can be prescribed to help reduce your symptoms

Relief From IBS Symptoms Is Possible

IBS is not “in your head,” when frequent stomach troubles persist you deserve answers and relief. Often IBS is provoked by a certain sensitivity your body has developed. Once these triggers are uncovered and subsequently avoided, the symptoms should decrease or go away all together. It may take some time and experimentation to identify what sensitivities you have, but with careful dedication you can avoid the seemingly unpredictable flare-ups caused by IBS. (More Information Here)

Is your stomach causing you persistent pain, do you want answers now? For fast answers, relief, and a plan of action, visit us today at Urgent Medical Center!

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