If you have been experiencing digestive issues, you may be thinking to yourself, could it be irritable bowel syndrome? Let’s try to answer that question for you.
What Is Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome?
Inflammatory bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a group of symptoms that affect your digestive tract. Specifically, it is a gastrointestinal disorder which causes your digestive tract to be very sensitive, changes how your bowel muscles contract, and many describe it as a gut-brain interaction.
Twelve percent of adults have IBS, and more women are affected by it. Many of us can experience the symptoms occasionally, but when it becomes more chronic, it can be diagnosed as inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Symptoms Of Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
Someone with IBS will experience pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and mucus in the stool. There may also be a change in how often you move your bowels. This is due to your bowel muscles contracting more often.
Stool can be hard and lumpy with constipation or loose and watery with diarrhea. Sometimes there is an uncomfortable urgency to move your bowels, it can be hard to pass stools, or you can feel like you have not completely emptied your bowels.
It may be hard to diagnose inflammatory bowel syndrome since it’s symptoms are similar to other disorders and diseases like celiac disease.
Common Causes Of IBS
Diet is the most likely cause of IBS, but it is triggered by everyday stress and changing hormones. It is also linked with fatigue, an inability to focus, brain fog, and even joint pain.
If this seems like it describes many people, including you, don’t be discouraged. It can be managed, but it takes longterm management, and Digestive Health Services can help you to reduce your symptoms.
Some risk factors include the following:
- Being a female and under the age of 50
- Having a family history of the disorder
- Having a mental health condition like depression or anxiety
Some positive information about IBS is that it doesn’t raise the risk of colon cancer or damage the digestive tract.
If you begin to lose weight, have diarrhea at night, experience rectal bleeding, anemia or vomiting, have difficulty swallowing, and persistent pain, see a doctor immediately. These are more serious symptoms.