Irritable bowel syndrome can be a painful and bothersome condition that causes abdominal discomfort, bloating and constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that affects the large intestine (colon).
It can greatly affect a person’s quality of life during flare-ups resulting in anxiety and embarrassment. Fortunately, through the right treatment and lifestyle changes irritable bowel syndrome can be effectively managed. Keep reading to find out more about irritable bowel syndrome and possible treatment options.
The symptoms of people who have irritable bowel syndrome vary greatly. They may also be confused for other conditions because the symptoms greatly resemble other conditions and diseases. Some people may experience all symptoms and others may only experience some symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that people with irritable bowel syndrome experience include:
- Mucus in the stool
- Pain in the abdomen
- Bouts of diarrhea
- Bouts of constipation
- General abdominal discomfort
- Excessive gas
- Bowel flare ups
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome isn’t known, but there are many different factors that may contribute to developing the condition. Some of the possible causes may include:
- Gastrointestinal abnormalities
- Certain foods
- Hormonal changes
- Underlying illnesses
There are a few factors that may increase your risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome including:
- Being female
- Being under the age of 45
- Family history of irritable bowel syndrome
- Having anxiety, depression or other mental health issues
If you have concerns that you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome based upon your symptoms you should schedule an appointment with your physician. Come prepared with a diary of your symptoms including when they seem to act up. Your doctor will ask you about your family history, your personal medical history, and will use certain criteria to diagnose your medical issue. He or she may also have you undergo further tests including X-rays, colonoscopy, computerized tomography, blood tests, stool tests, breath tests, lactose intolerance tests, colonoscopy and more. Your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further care.
There are different treatment options available to help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This helps to restore confidence and quality of life in most patients. Some of the most effective treatment options for irritable bowel syndrome include:
- Avoiding triggers
- Reducing stress
- Making dietary changes
- Taking fiber supplements
- Avoiding gluten
- Taking anti-diarrhea medications
- Taking antibiotics
- Taking antidepressant medication
The outlook for those with irritable bowel syndrome can be very good if they receive proper treatment. Most people find relief from irritable bowel syndrome by changing their diet, participating in an exercise routine, and reducing their stress level. It is important to take your medication as directed in order to have the best success with your health. You may want to make other lifestyle changes including creating an eating schedule, getting enough sleep, and treating any underlying health issues including depression and anxiety. Irritable bowel syndrome can be managed relieving physical symptoms and embarrassment.