Irritable bowel syndrome is a common chronic disorder of the large intestine. It is usually accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, and gas. It can also cause diarrhea or constipation. Being chronic in nature, it’s a condition that requires long-term management.
Not all IBS sufferers have severe symptoms. In fact, many are able to effectively manage their symptoms by making changes in their diet and lifestyle. Those with more severe IBS symptoms often find success through a treatment combination of counseling and medication.
Signs & Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Are you suffering from bouts of diarrhea and constipation or is it something more? While the signs and symptoms of IBS may vary among individuals, experiencing more than one of the following makes it highly likely that you have IBS:
- Excessive flatulence
- Relief from pain, cramping, or bloating only after a bowel movement
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
- Mucus in your stool
If your IBS symptoms come and go, you may not know when to seek help from a doctor. It is important that you have yourself checked by a doctor because some signs and symptoms of IBS are similar to that of colon cancer.
Trust your instincts. If you are experiencing pain in your abdomen and notice changes in your bowel movements, especially if you see blood in your stool and are experiencing unexplained weight loss, see your doctor as soon as possible.
There are triggers that IBS sufferers are very familiar with.
First, there is food. While not fully understood, food intolerance plays a role in irritable bowel syndrome. Many people with IBS notice a worsening of their symptoms when eating certain foods and drinking certain beverages. Some examples of the most common food triggers are milk, wheat, and dairy.
Second, there’s stress. People with IBS experience a worsening of their symptoms when they are stressed. Despite the correlation, stress is not the cause of IBS – it only aggravates the symptoms of IBS.
Third, there are hormones. Women are more prone to developing IBS than men. It may due to hormonal fluctuations that women experience every month. Many women report a worsening of symptoms around the time of their period.
Complications of IBS
When IBS symptoms are unsuccessfully managed, it can lead to health complications such as hemorrhoids. More importantly, living with IBS can negatively impact your life. The embarrassment and shame of experiencing IBS while out with people is one of the main reasons patients seek medical attention.
Having IBS can make you anxious about life. Our team of physicians at North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers in Ohio specializes in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS. Our goal is to help relieve your symptoms so the condition does not keep you from living your life to the fullest.
We understand that every person is different, so treatment for IBS requires a highly individualized approach.
IBS sufferers need proper support and attention, so please give us a call at (440) 808-1212 right away or use our appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you at one of our North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers locations in Westlake or Brooklyn, Ohio.