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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Home Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the large intestine and digestive system. IBS is also known as irritable colon, mucous colitis, and spastic colitis. IBS is usually a condition that you will need to manage long-term.

IBS doesn’t increase your risk of gastrointestinal issues or colorectal cancer.

ibs-symptoms

Causes of IBS

The exact cause of IBS isn’t known. Some of the factors that play a role include:

  • Severe Infections: IBS can develop after diarrhea caused by a virus or bacteria. IBS can also be associated with a bacteria in the intestines.
  • Gastrointestinal Abnormalities: In people with IBS, food may move too slowly or too quickly through the digestive tract causing changes in bowel movements.
  • Inflammation in the Intestines: People with IBS have an increased number of cells in the immune system in their intestines which are associated with pain and diarrhea.

Symptoms of IBS

The signs and symptoms may vary in severity and duration from person to person.
Some of the symptoms include:

  • Cramping and Abdomen pain
  • Diarrhea where the stool comes out watery
  • Constipation where the stool comes out hard.
  • Excess gas and bloating
  • A bowel movement that becomes incomplete
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Changes in bowel habits

Some people do have continuous symptoms. Women may tend to have more during menstruation.
Stress can make the symptoms worse.

More serious signs or symptoms  include:

  • Weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain that is not relieved by a bowel movement or by passing gas
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Anemia related to low iron

Complications

Chronic diarrhea or constipation can cause hemorrhoids.  
IBS is associated with:

  • Quality of life: Many people with IBS report poor quality of life.
  • Mood disorder: Depression and anxiety also make IBS worse. Experiencing the symptoms of IBS can lead to depression.

IBS Treatment

Therapies

Few therapies that are consisted of the treatment of IBS

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A talk therapy focused on modifying negative thoughts and emotional responses associated with psychological distress.
  • Biofeedback: Controlling the heartbeat, brain waves, breathing and blood pressure by monitoring them with sensors.
  • Brief Psychotherapy: Short-term counseling that focuses on achieving specific goals.

Additional tests are required if you suspect IBS. Your additional tests include stool studies to check for infection with the ability of intestines  to take the nutrients from food

Tests for IBS include:
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy:  Your lower part of the colon (sigmoid) is examined with a flexible, lighted tube (sigmoidoscope)
  • Colonoscopy: A small and flexible tube is used to examine the entire length of the colon.
  • CT Scan or X-ray:  These tests show the images of the abdomen and pelvis that might be useful to figure out the other causes of your symptoms, especially if you are suffering from abdomen pain.
Some Laboratory tests include:
  • Lactose Breath Test: Lactase is an enzyme that is needed to digest the sugar found in any dairy products. If you don’t produce lactase, may have problems similar to IBS.  A breath test can be performed or your doctor may ask to remove from the diet for a few weeks.
  • Breath test for Bacteria: Bacterial overgrowth is more common in people who have diabetes or who have had bowel related surgery or any other disease that slows digestion.
  • Endoscopy: A long and flexible tube is inserted in the throat and into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. The upper digestive tract will get tested by a doctor and obtains a tissue sample from the small intestine and a fluid to look for overgrowth of bacteria.

At SIICP, our expert colo-rectal specialists can help you get rid of IBS without pain. Consult our doctor today.

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