Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that results to recurrent upper and lower gastrointestinal symptoms. The most common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain and altered bowel movement such as constipation, diarrhea or both.
There is still no clear cause of IBS that is why it is termed as a functional disorder since there are no signs in the bowel and yet changes are observed from its previous functional quality. Irritable Bowel Disorder may cause a great deal of discomfort and distress but will not result in permanent harm to the bowel and does not increase chances of cancer.
The good news with IBS is the fact that it can be cured by means of diet and medication. Irritable Bowel Syndrome can happen during any period of one’s life. The exact cause of IBS is not yet fully known however similar conditions in children have been observed and are believed to be the portent of adult IBS.
Some factors like emotional conflict or stress tend to aggravate IBS symptoms but research findings have shown contrasting results. Emotional conflicts are no longer accepted as factors that cause IBS.
In addition, studies also show that patients with IBS tend to develop overly sensitive bowels compared to those without IBS. It has been observed that patients with IBS even with minimal stimulation may easily distress their intestinal muscles. Accordingly, patients with IBS may strongly react to a stimulus that does not normally aggravate the bowels of a normal healthy individual.
Ordinary occurrence in the large intestines such as eating or gas production may have adverse effect on the colon of an IBS patient. Certain medications as well as food may trigger IBS symptoms. Most of the foods that trigger IBS symptoms are chocolates, fatty foods, dairy products as well as grain containing products and even alcohol may aggravate and then trigger IBS symptoms.
Caffeine may have laxative effects to some, but for IBS patients it is just one of those products that offend their digestive tract. Likewise, IBS is predominant to women with menstrual periods since reproductive hormones are believed to influence the course of IBS.
There are two types of IBS and these are diarrhea-predominant IBS and constipation-predominant IBS. These two types of IBS suggest that chronic diarrhea and chronic constipation may be examined through the bacteria derived from bowel samples. And since metronidazole and vancomycin (both antibiotics) are effective in reducing diarrhea and constipation IBS, it is a clear indication that an overgrowth of bacteria in the bowel flora may actually cause IBS. Likewise, progressive nerve damage can develop and is exhibited by some patients with chronic constipation.
It is really hard to pinpoint normal a bowel movement since various people have their own normal frequency. There may be some people whose normal bowel movement involves three stools a day while others may move their bowels everyday upon waking up. A healthy bowel movement is one that is formed but not hard, contains no blood and flushes out of the colon without unnecessary cramps or pain.
If you suspect you are suffering with IBS, you should first consult your primary care physician before taking other steps.