Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, is a chronic gastro-intestinal disorder of unknown cause. The condition is a combination of abdominal pain or discomfort and altered bowel habits. It most often occur in individuals who are in their late teens to early 40s. IBS are also commonly known or called as mucous colitis, functional bowel disease and spastic colon.
Irritable bowel syndrome is not inherited, cancerous or contagious. More often, it occur in in women than in men, and its onset occurs before the age of 35, in about half of the cases.
Causes of IBS:
As mentioned earlier, the exact cause of IBS is unknown. But some possible causes include the following:
– Overly sensitive immune system colon
– Caused by a prior bacterial infection in the gastro-intestinal tract
Symptoms of IBS:
The following are the symptoms associated with IBS:
– Flatulence or gassiness
– Alternating periods of constipation and diarrhea
– Abdominal pain or cramping, that are relieved with bowel movements
– Change in the stool consistency or frequency
– Abdominal distension
Just as the cause of IBS is unknown, there is no cure for it as well. But the treatment is aim at relieving the symptoms. Certain diet and lifestyle changes are tried before medication.
Things you can do to relieve IBS symptoms include:
– Regular physical exercise.
– Eat at regular times and avoid skipping meals to help regulate your bowel function.
– Take probiotics to help relieve bloating and gas.
– Drink plenty of liquids.
– Minimize or handle stress effectively.
If your IBS symptoms do not improve, you may consult your doctor, so he can suggest the proper treatment or medication if possible. It is advisable not to take any over-the-counter drugs for your symptoms without first consulting a doctor.