Do you often feel pain in the lower abdomen? Does it go away after a bowel movement? It could be IBS. Around 6% to 18% of the world population suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).It can be a challenging chronic illness to deal with. There’s a chance you might be brushing off IBS symptoms as digestive upset.
Pain and cramping.
Do you often feel sharp discomfort in your abdomen? It could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).The reason for abdominal pain is mostly because your brain and your gut are not working together. The two need to function in perfect synchronization if you’re going to have a smooth digestivesystem. Your brain, hormones, and gut bacteria work together via signals. Anything that’s out of sync can cause issues. When you have IBS, the signaling between these various components is disturbed, causing your digestive tract to face painful tension. You normally feel pain in the lower abdomen, but sometimes your entire abdomen can be impacted. Usually, pain from IBS reduces once you have a bowel movement. Changing your diet and keeping track of foods that cause your IBS to flare up are a couple of things you can do to reduce the cramping. Do you get cramps in your abdomen? What do you do for relief? Share your tips with the Bestie community in the comments below.
About 33% of IBS patients have diarrhea. Results from a study showed that those with diarrhea had bowel movements an average of12 times per week. When compared to the bowel movements of people without IBS, it’s almost twice the number. Considering diarrhea is uncontrollable in social situations, it can cause stress for those suffering from IBS. Many even choose to avoid certain social engagements out of fear of embarrassing themselves. The stool released from bowel movements caused by IBS also tends to be watery and loose.
The complete opposite of diarrhea is constipation, and believe it or not, IBS can have both kinds of effects on your digestive system. In fact, this type of IBS is the most common type, affecting about 50% of the patients. When the communication between your brain and bowel slows down, it could take longer for the stool to pass through. The longer the transit time for your stool, the more water is absorbed away from it. As a result, it becomes difficult to pass the stool, causing constipation. If you have less than three bowel movements a week, you are constipated. There is, however, a difference between constipation brought on by IBS and “functional” constipation. The latter is the kind of constipation that is not caused by disease, and is not relatedto IBS.It’s also quite common. The main difference is that “functional” constipation is not really painful. When you have constipation with IBS, all your bowel movements will feel incomplete. As a result, you tend to strain harder, which could cause further complications. Looking for answers on all the latest health and wellness news? Hit that “subscribe” button, and join our millions of followers. Stay up to date on all our great Bestie content.
Alternating constipation and diarrhea.
Boy can this one be rough on your bowels. It affects about 20% of IBS patients. If you’re alternating between constipation and diarrhea, but don’t feel any pain, it could be due to a mild infection or changes in your diet. The sure-shot sign of IBS is pain in your abdomen when going through constipation or diarrhea. The alternating form of IBS is the most severe compared to the other two. The symptoms tend to be more intense and occur far more often. Another issue with the mixed form of IBS is that it affects different people in different ways. So there’s no one way to treat this particular type. Instead, each patient needs to be diagnosed and given personalized treatment.
Changes in bowel movements.
When you have IBS, your bowel habits change as well. The stool, when it moves slowly through the intestine, can become dehydrated and hard. As a result, you may face symptoms of constipation. At the same time, if your bowel movements are too fast, the stool isn’t in your intestine long enough. In this case, not enough water is absorbed by the intestine, leaving your stool watery and similar to diarrhea. If you have IBS, you could even have mucus accumulated in your stool. This is a clear indication of the disease, as it’s not seen in constipation caused by other issues. You also need to be on the lookout for traces of blood in the stool. Bloody stools are indicative of a very serious condition. Black, tarry stools indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The blood has been digested, thereby turning stool black. Red streaks in your stool are caused by bleeding in the lower part of your tract. Either way, consult a health specialist as soon as possible. Before we move ahead, here’s another video you might like. Watch and learn more about 10 body changes that require immediate attention.
Gas and bloating.
IBS can also cause a lot of gas formation in your gut. This production of gas can make you feel bloated, which in turn gives a lot of discomfort. Most people with IBS have a common bloating issue. In a study of over 300 IBS patients, more than 80% suffered from bloating and cramping. Incidentally, bloating was more prevalent among women than men. Moreover, patients suffering from constipation or the mixed type of IBS reported these symptoms more frequently. The best way to avoid bloating would be to get rid of bloat-inducing foods like cruciferousveggies.
People with IBS have certain foods they are intolerant of. In fact, in a study of more than 4,600 subjects, around 70% of patients claim that a few foods trigger their symptoms. Around two-thirds of patients with IBS take it upon themselves to avoid certain foods. They do this by paying attention to which foods give you a reaction, and which foods don’t. It is unclear why certain foods trigger IBS symptoms, although it’s clear they’re not food allergies. Different foods have different impacts on patients, but generally lactose and gluten rich foods tend to be the most common types to trigger IBS.
Fatigue and difficulty sleeping.
Fatigue is another common symptom among people with IBS. In a study of 160 adult patients, participants talked about how low stamina limits the physicalinteractions they have in their professional and personal lives. Another symptom of IBS includes insomnia. People with IBS constantly wake up throughout the night. They also have difficulty falling asleep in the first place. A study found out that patients with IBS slept longer, but reported being less refreshed in the morning than those who did not have IBS. Research has also found that if you suffer from poor sleep, you’re bound to face severegastrointestinal symptoms the morning after.
Anxiety and depression.
Those who have IBS also seem to suffer from severe mental health problems. It’s not yet clear whether the IBS symptoms happen due to a person’s stress, or if the stress of living with IBS is causing the psychological issues. Either way, both IBS and anxiety seem to go hand in hand. In a study involving 94,000 men and women, those with IBS were 50% more likely to reportanxiety, and as much as 70% more likely to have depression. Another study showed that therapy to reduce anxiety helps reduce the symptoms you face with IBS, while also bringing down the stress levels. Anxiety is another mental health challenge that has a deep impact on your life. It can make you do things you normally would never do. Besides treatment, there are certain foods you can eat to help feel better. Let’s keep the conversation going with a couple more videos…Check out 12 Things You Are Doing Because Of High Functioning Anxiety. Or how about 5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Anxiety? Go ahead, click one. Or better yet, watch both, and learn more about how to deal with your mental health.