What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Edit
Irritable bowel syndrome is condition involving abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation. It is often associated with stress, depression etc. It is a disease that affects the large intestine that causes pain to the abdomen. Irritable Bowel syndrome isn't a life threatening disease but can disrupt your life. This disease can bring on cramps, abdominal pain, headaches and diarrhea which can be life altering when you experience it for the first time. Doctors deal with IBS by suppressing the symptoms that the disease causes, and eventually get it under control, as there is no cure.
How does Irritable Bowel System Affect the Digestive System? Edit
It's not known exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome, but a variety of factors play a role. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food from your stomach through your intestinal tract to your rectum. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, the contractions may be stronger and last longer than normal, causing gas, bloating and diarrhea. Or the opposite may occur, with weak intestinal contractions slowing food passage and leading to hard, dry stools.
Abnormalities in your gastrointestinal nervous system also may play a role, causing you to experience greater than normal discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool. Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can make your body overreact to the changes that normally occur in the digestive process. This overreaction can cause pain, diarrhea or constipation.
Signs and Symptoms
Pain or discomfort that is relieved when a person goes to the bathroom and has a bowel movement. Pain or discomfort that is accompanied by changes in a person's regular bowel movement patterns (for example, the person goes to the bathroom more frequently or less often) Pain or discomfort that is accompanied by changes in the way a person's stool normally looks. Some people become constipated and their stools become hard; other people develop diarrhea. IBS is a very tricky disease, there is no cure but there is
medication for the recurrent symptoms.
- Progressive abdominal pain
- Feeling bloated
- Lot of gas
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Mucus in the stool
IBS is considered a chronic condition, although there will likely be times when the signs and symptoms are worse and times when they improve or even disappear completely.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is diagnosed after blood tests, stool samples, and x-rays are done on the patient. In addition to doing a physical examination, the doctor will ask you about any concerns and symptoms you have, your past health, your family's health, any medications you're taking, any allergies you may have, and other issues. This is called the medical history. You may need to ask a parent or other adult for some information. Your doctor will asses you with certain criteria, if the doctor see that you fit this criteria, he will proceed to diagnose it. The criteria are as followed:
- Older than the age of 50
- Recent weight loss
- Mysterious bleeding
- High Fever
- Often vomiting
- Abdominal pain, especially if it's not completely relieved by a bowel movement, or occurs at night
- Recurrent Diarrhea
- Low Iron Levels
Tests to conclude whether you have IBS or not, may include:
- Medical history and physical exam.
- A blood test for celiac disease.
- Complete blood count (CBC).
- Checks for inflammation in the body.
- Stool analysis.
Treatment includes: Edit
Dietary changes Some people with IBS find that careful eating helps reduce or eliminate IBS symptoms. You might try avoiding very large meals, drinks with caffeine, spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, some dairy products, and foods that contain gluten. Some people find that adding fiber — eating more fruits and vegetables, for instance — and drinking more water can help eliminate IBS symptoms, too.
Good eating habits can also be helpful in combating IBS. Eating regular meals, avoiding on-the-run eating, and paying attention to good nutrition can all be helpful.
Lifestyle changes: If you have IBS that appears related to stress or the emotional roller coaster ride of being a teenager, you might want to review your lifestyle and make some changes. Consider ways to manage daily pressures, such as schoolwork, and make time for extracurricular activities you enjoy.
Sleep and exercise: a sure-fire stress reducer. Your doctor might recommend some stress-reduction techniques, like breathing exercises. Preliminary research also shows that hypnotherapy may be helpful in managing IBS.
Medications: For some people with severe IBS, doctors may suggest one of several prescription or over-the-counter medications. Depending on the symptoms, doctors may recommend over-the-counter laxatives (for constipation) or anti-diarrhea medications, or might prescribe muscle relaxers (for colon muscle spasm) or antidepressants (for anxiety and stress). Before trying any over-the-counter medicines, talk to your doctor first to be sure you get the best one for you.
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