We make fun of so many people pertaining to their gastric problems. However, problems with our digestive system are no laughing stuff, and they may affect all of us. Perhaps, that is why they are considered a great source of material for people to make fun of. Many of us with digestion problem have to deal with discomfort and embarrassment.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastric issues. Experts opine that one in five people may experience IBS symptoms in their lifetime, and it is more common in women.
What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a functional gastro-intestinal problem that is associated with the way your digestion works. IBS is not due to a single underlying gastric problem. It could be caused by a combination of problems such as peptic ulcers, inflammation, colitis, and bowel cancer. It does not cause any serious medical complications like cancer or gut blockage. It is treatable, but incurable. IBS symptoms are manageable with healthy diet and lifestyle.
Signs and Symptoms
- On and off stomach pain, which is ameliorated on evacuation of gas or bowels and aggravated after eating
- Alternate diarrhoea and constipation
- Abdominal bloating
- Excessive flatulence or eructation
- Unsatisfactory defecation
- Mucus discharge from stools
If you experience these symptoms for more than six months, you are more likely to be diagnosed with IBS.
Your doctor, after diagnosing the condition, will advise you symptomatic treatment. A pain relief medicine – antispasmodic – can help with abdominal spasms or pain. There is no specific treatment to cure irritable bowel syndrome. You can manage IBS with a high fibre diet and regular exercise. You need to cut down on dairy products, onions, barley, wheat and rye.
Fortunately, many people with IBS do not experience any serious problem. However, it is often painful and discomforting. Lifestyle changes can be of great help.
The bottom line is to never ignore some gastric related symptoms. Even if there is some underlying problem with your gastrointestinal system, the chances of treatment are successful if diagnosed and treated early.
Just see your GP if you experience any change in your bowel movements and stool form, no matter how mild it is.