Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine (colon). The condition is characterized by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Affecting many people nowadays, the episodes may last for days, weeks or months.
- Sensitivity of the nerves and muscles of the bowel
- Poor dietary habits
- Women have been found to be more susceptible to IBS than men
- Family history
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Medical condition such as anxiety and depression
- In case of IBS, you may experience cramp like pain in the middle or lower side of the abdomen.
- You may complain of irregular bowel such as diarrhoea or constipation. In most cases, they alternate.
- Swollen or bloated (distended abdomen)
- Abdominal pain/ cramping
- Feeling of bloating
- At times you may spot mucus in the stools and feel strained during bowel movement.
- It may be difficult to hold onto bowel at times and you may feel the urgency to empty it out.
- In most cases, modifications in the lifestyle habits have been found to significantly improve the symptoms of IBS.
- It is important to make dietary changes as well. However, if in case the symptoms still do not get better, it is best to consult an endocrinologist.
- Though IBS is very difficult to diagnose, however, the doctor may suggest a few imaging studies for the diagnosis of the problem.
- The doctor may suggest you to get the imaging studies such as CT scan and an X-ray of intestine done or an endoscopy/ colonoscopy for an effective diagnosis.
- He shall also ask you for the relevant symptoms that could help him understand the presence or absence of the disease.
- Once the problem is diagnosed, the doctor may suggest dietary and lifestyle changes. In addition to that you may also be prescribed with anti-spasmodics and laxatives/ anti-diarrheal to relieve the associated symptoms.
- In case you are smoker, make sure you resort to quit smoking.
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