Irritable Bowel Syndrome (lBS), also known as spastic colon, is not a disease but classified as a “functional” bowel disorder, impaired functioning within the digestive system. The dysfunction may be connected to the sensitivity of the nerves in the intestines; the movement of the intestines; or the way in which the brain controls these functions. IBS is diagnosed using criteria known as Rome II. This requires a review of the patient’s bowel movements; stools (color, shape, consistency and frequency); severity and frequency of abdominal pain; fever; weight loss or weight gain; and interference of sleep due to IBS symptoms. In addition to meeting Rome II criteria, patients will need to undergo laboratory testing, including complete blood count, basic chemistry panel, and an erythrocyte sedimentation rate. There are no diagnostic c tests available to specifically diagnose irritable Bowel Syndrome. Instead, tests are performed to rule-out other diseases or disorders whose symptoms mimic those of lBS. Once it has been determined, no other problems exist, physicians will use Rome II criteria to look for any ‘red flag’ symptoms.
Research has shown that people with irritable bowel syndrome do not have a normal gastroscopic reflex response. It is believed that IBS symptoms result from what appears to be a breakdown in communication within the digestive tract. This could be from a disturbance in the interaction between the gut or intestines and the brain, or between the gut or intestines and the autonomic system that controls the regulation of how the bowel functions. Irritable Bowel Syndrome leaves people feeling as if their stomach is “tied in knots” and is characterized by recurring bouts of constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. These symptoms can be triggered by food, exercise, medications, dietary supplements, stress and hormonal changes. Nearly g0 percent of people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are women. It is estimated that nearly 1-5 percent of adults experience IBS symptoms at some point in their lives. The onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms generally occur between the ages of L5 and 40; however it can also strike infants, children and the elderly. Irritable Bowel Syndrome often strikes during periods of significant stress or life changes; i.e.; divorce, death, going off to college.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition, most patients have it for a lifelong condition. The primary symptoms are abdominal discomfort and pain accompanied by a change of bowel habit. Other common symptoms are bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or alternating diarrhea & constipation. Typically, the symptoms often occur after eating certain foods and during stress. Sometimes spastic colon co-exists with anxiety or depression. Irritable bowel syndrome can occur at any age, but it often starts to develop in the teen years (particularly before the age of 35). It is very rare in people over 50. other conditions that can increase the risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome are family history of irritable bowel syndrome. People who have a first-degree relative (such as sibling and parent) with this syndrome are more likely to experience the same condition. Then gender! Irritable bowel syndrome is more common in women than in men.
Most experts have opinion that it cannot be cured – although there are some people who report that they successfully treated their irritable bowel syndrome. The symptoms can be relieved, but there is a chance for them to come back someday. The good news, this chronic condition doesn’t cause permanent damage to the intestines and commonly will not put your life at risk. It also doesn’t increase the risk of developing other serious health problems (such as colorectal cancer). But it may take a significant toll on the patient’s lifestyle. During episodes of urgent frequent diarrhea, patient may find it difficult to travel or work. The symptoms can strike 3, anytime, and this may affect the confident of patient to socialize or attend an event in public. Fortunately with the right strategies (such as stress management, moderate exercise, and some dietary changes), the symptoms can be managed.
One of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is frequent stomach pain in combination with explosive diarrhoea or loose bowel movements. Symptoms may be mild or severe and usually alternate between the two from day to day. Another one of the more common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is chronic constipation with stomach pain or discomfort. One may have other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating, mucus in the bowel movement. Still more symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are gas, a strong urge to have a bowel movement and mucus in your stool.
Frequently the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome alternate, but one usually have one symptom more predominantly than the other. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome occur with no warning or reason. Therefore, need to learn what can cause IBS to flare up’ The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may worsen when one is stressed, do not eat healthy foods, or after eating a big meal. Some women experience more frequent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome during their menstrual periods. One must learn what foods cause one to experience the symptoms. It is suggested that one’s fat intake has a big impact on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Try to cut back on high fat intake and begin making a diary of what one eat when one is experiencing one of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This will help one pinpoint what triggers the symptoms. Then one can learn how to keep it from happening as often. There is need to equip oneself with knowledge and take back control. Irritable bowel syndrome may cause a lot of discomfort to a person. Hence, it is extremely necessary to treat it on time. There are several symptoms that suggest the presence of irritable bowel syndrome inside the body. The symptoms include the following:
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen: This is one of the most common signs of irritable bowel syndrome. The pain may be mild or severe. One can also experience severe pain when passing wind, opening the bowels or even eating. Pain usually occurs at a particular time of the day. People experience the pain in the evening. Women may feel the discomfort getting worse during that menstrual cycle.
- Change in bowel habits: The irritable bowel syndrome may result in varying the consistency of faeces. It may either get hard, pellet-like loose or watery. One may also pass certain amounts of mucus. The bowel habit usually varies between constipation and diarrhea. One may also feel that your bowels have not been emptied completely.
- Bloated abdomen: This is a major discomfort that occurs due to inability of passing wind from the body.
- Passing excess wind: This is a common problem faced by people with irritable bowel syndrome. It is also referred to as excessive flatulence. One must steer clear of ‘windy vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, legumes and cabbage.
- Other symptoms: There are other common symptoms. One may face due to irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating, gas, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, feeling or strong urge to have a bowel movement even after one have had one, diarrhea after eating, diarrhea early in the morning, indigestion, experiencing a sense of fullness, nausea, vomiting.
Most people show only mild signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes, the problem may result in a lot of discomfort. There are also cases where the patient with irritable bowel syndrome does not respond well to the medical treatment. This is because symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may be present with several other diseases. Most people may suffer this problem as a chronic condition. The best thing to do is to visit a doctor and discuss the symptoms.
An important factor in gaining control over irritable bowel syndrome is to realize that everything placed in mouth is going to affect the way one feels. Simply put, the food one eats and beverages one drink will either make one irritable bowel symptoms better or worse.
Normally, when food enters the stomach a series of physiological reflexes are set in motion. The act of chewing ignites production of saliva. Saliva contains enzymes which soften food into a bolus (semi-solid lump) that can be swallowed. Swallowing food triggers the gastroscopic reflex, which instructs the colon to start contracting. These contractions send signals to the esophagus, instructing it to propel food through the digestive tract, where it will eventually be expelled through the colon. It’s quite an intricate system, one must agree’ Research has shown that people with irritable bowel syndrome do not have a normal gastroscopic reflex response. It’s similar to plumbing in one’s home, when the system is faulty, things can get bad. Just as there are certain things one wouldn’t flush down the toilet or pour down on sink; there are certain foods that can wreak havoc on one’s personal plumbing.
Gastrointestinal stimulants and gastrointestinal irritants can wreak havoc on the personal plumbing of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Stimulants include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Irritants include foods that are high in fat, eggs, dairy products, spicy foods, insoluble fiber, artificial sweeteners, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). They are also known to be powerful irritable bowel syndrome triggers. Therefore, one will want to strictly limit or eliminate these foods from diet.
Fat stimulates the digestive tract more than any other food. Generally, foods containing high amounts of fat only provide a small amount of nutrients, but a lot of calories. Foods that are high in fats include meat fat from red meat, poultry skin, sausages and bacon, dairy fat from cheese, milk, cream, ice cream, yogurt, Eggs, margarine, and commercial baked goods; i.e; biscuits, cakes and pastries. Meat fats are especially troublesome for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Prepared meat often times preservatives known as nitrates. Others contain high levels of sodium and monosodium glutamate (MSG; a common trigger of IBS. Red meat is known to promote cytokine production, which in turn triggers inflammation throughout the body.
Dairy products contain casein, a milk protein. Casein is known to aggravate asthma and promote cytokine production. When the protein of another animal is introduced into the human body, the immune system responds with an allergic reaction. Additionally, many people are lactose intolerant and unable to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. If lactose is not digested, it can cause gas and stomach cramps.
Both dairy products and egg yolks are high in arachidonic acid. This is the same substance that makes meats so inflammatory. If you are going to eat eggs, you should only eat the whites. On a food label, eggs can be listed as albumin, globulin, ovamucin, or vitellin.
Some people with irritable bowel syndrome have trouble tolerating certain spices and spicy condiments. These include hot sauces, spicy BBQ sauces, chilli peppers and powders, garlic, curry and ginger. Many commercial condiments, marinades and salad dressing contain hydrogenated fat and monosodium glutamate. Some holistic practitioners recommend using fresh garlic and ginger to treat irritable bowel syndrome, but recommend avoiding the powdered versions’ You may need to experiment to determine if spices affect IBS symptoms.
While most irritable bowel syndrome diets recommend increasing fiber intake, it’s important to realize there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is “rough” and does not dissolve in water. Insoluble fiber is “smooth” and soothing to the digestive tract
Soluble fiber foods can be very soothing for IBS symptoms. Foods that are naturally high in soluble fiber include: oatmeal, oat bran, rice, potatoes, pasta, nuts, beans, barley and soy.
Insoluble fiber may trigger severe attacks of pain and diarrhea in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, it should be introduced slowly and closely monitored. Sources of insoluble fiber include whole-grain breads and cereals, wheat bran, and the skins of fruits and vegetables.
Currently, there is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (lBS). Treatments generally focus on alleviating the symptoms and include high fiber diets or antispasmodic drugs to relieve constipation, or anti-diarrhea medications to relieve diarrhea. Individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome usually find relief by changing their diet.
Experts recommend eliminating high fat foods, most meat and dairy products, egg yolks, processed foods, sugar, flour, wheat, tobacco and alcohol. Others suggest increasing dietary fiber and reducing carbohydrates.
Eating foods rich in grains and protein may prove beneficial. The use of digestive enzyme supplements has shown to be effective in controlling Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.
Yoga and meditation or other stress reduction techniques may be helpful in reducing IBS symptoms.
Some IBS sufferers claim that a daily walking program or water aerobics helps them better manage their symptoms.