So what is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Your doctor probably gave you some basic information, but I would like to expand on this for you.
There are some important points of IBS information you need to know about the disease, the symptoms and more.
As you read through the information, go to the links where you will find more details on the subject.
You can learn so much more about IBS and share so much with so many sufferers too with the special forum at the bottom of the page.
So, what is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition and one of the common digestive disorders. The symptoms are sometimes referred to as spastic colon and comprise of abdominal pain or bowel spasms associated with either constipation or diarrhea or a combination of the two.
Symptoms are usually present to some extent most of the time and are unlikely to fully resolve, although with lifestyle changes, diet changes and other interventions you are likely to experience a significant improvement in your symptoms.
For example, a change in diet can improve symptoms in up to 70% of sufferers!
There are 4 main IBS bowel disorders:
IBS-D – This is the abbreviation for Diarrhea-Predominant where Diarrhea is the main symptom.
IBS-C – This is the abbreviation for Constipation-Predominant where constipation is the main symptom.
IBS-A – This is the abbreviation for Alternating Constipation and Diarrhea.
IBS-PI – This is the abbreviation for Post Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome which can occur after a bout of gastroenteritis and can have symptoms incorporating any of the above.
There are other spastic colon symptoms other than colon spasms and bowel upset which can occur with an attack so I strongly believe that it should be thought of as a multisystem disorder.
These may include tiredness, headache, nausea, indigestion, wind and bloating symptoms, muscle fatigue, urine frequency, and physical symptoms of anxiety attacks. These can be influenced by hormonal changes that occur, particularly around the time of a woman's period.
It is a very COMMON disorder so you are not alone! You are likely to have friends and family with symptoms of IBS.
In fact in the UK, 1 in 5 people have it and this is similar in the USA. So, it really is common, but Symptoms do vary so not everyone seeks help particularly when in its mildest form.
Some sufferers don't like to talk about it either through fear or stigma. I hope this information website will help break through this barrier as I really believe that talking about your symptoms is a therapy in its own right and keeping them bottled up just makes the symptoms worse.
This web site will help you to start talking about your experiences through the unique forums found at the bottom of most web pages on this site.
So start talking about it now with other sufferers, family and friends. After all, I do this every day! What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome to you? Go on, discuss it!
"So who gets IBS?" Well the answer is we all can! No one actually knows the actual Irritable Bowel Syndrome Causes. It is no respect of sex or age, but there are some triggers that can make symptoms worse.
Women are twice as likely to get the condition as men and most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40 years old.
If over 45, with new onset of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, constipation or stomach pain then it is important to have these symptoms investigated further as similar features can occur in other conditions (such as colitis symptoms and celiac disease) as well as bowel cancer.
So if you know someone in this group ask them to get it investigated!
Doctors diagnose the disorder through the pattern of symptoms a sufferer presents with. There is no diagnostic test, but an internationally agreed criteria is used to make the diagnosis, called the IBS Rome III criteria.
The 'triad' of change in bowel habit (diarrhea, constipation), wind (bloating or swelling of the abdomen) and abdominal pain or spasms are integral in the diagnosis and you can read more about the Rome III criteria by clicking on the link and this will take you to their website.
A doctor who specialises in IBS can help you with these symptoms or you may like to look for more IBS patient information on this site. I hope you now understand more about what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is now.
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