IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is one of the conditions that can cause a lot of discomfort. It is a condition that involves the large intestines which triggers a variety of uncomfortable signs and symptoms that range from gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Luckily, these symptoms can be managed and only a few have symptoms that are severe.
The characteristic symptom of IBS is abdominal pain or discomfort which often occurs in the form of stomach cramping. The pain often occurs after eating a meal. An individual is likely to have IBS once this form of discomfort occurs at least 3 times in a month for 3 consecutive months.
Changes in the bowel habit are also an indication of IBS. The individual must experience at least two of these symptoms to be considered as IBS.
- Pain starts with stool that appears loose or bumpier than usual
- Discomfort or pain that improves after bowel movement
- Discomfort starts with bowel movement inconsistencies
Those who have IBS often end up with a bloated sensation. The abdominal bloating can cause the stomach to feel full and tight as well as appear swollen. At the present, it is still unclear on what exactly causes the bloating and discomfort. Nevertheless, there might be problems with the signals between the nerves of the intestines and the brain.
Diarrhea and constipation
Both constipation and diarrhea are symptoms of IBS. The constipation can lead to straining, hard stools and less than 4 bowel movements in a week. As for diarrhea, it can result to loose stool at least 3 times in a day as well as the urgent feeling during bowel movement.
The passing of gas is one of the undesirable symptoms of IBS. Take note that there are certain foods and beverages that can aggravate this symptom such as cabbage, beans, milk products, high-fat foods and beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or artificial sweeteners.
The consumption of foods rich in fiber can trigger gas yet fiber can actually help with other symptoms such as constipation. With this in mind, it is recommended to increase the intake of fiber in a gradual manner to help reduce the risk for bloating and gas.
The presence of mucus in the stool is another symptom of IBS. Take note that mucus is the clear liquid that protects and coats the tissues in the gastrointestinal tract. This mucus is passed along with stool if the individual has IBS.
In some cases, there are times when this symptom improves or even vanishes completely. A doctor must be consulted if this symptom persists in order to rule out serious conditions such as an infection or colon cancer.
Treatment for IBS
Even though the symptoms of IBS can cause embarrassment and discomfort, the condition will not cause any permanent damage on the intestines. The individual must learn to control the condition with lifestyle and diet changes. In some circumstances, the doctor might prescribe medications, probiotics or other treatment options to manage the symptoms of IBS effectively. If you will register for first aid training, you can learn measures to help ease some of the symptoms.