Have you ever felt abdominal pain for what seems like no reason at all, or suddenly found yourself going to the bathroom (and having a bowel movement) more often than you usually do? Is there a change in the appearance of your stool? If so, these signs could point to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Research estimates that about 15% of adults in the United States suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Let’s talk about the triggers and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and where you can go to find relief that lasts.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
IBS is a chronic digestive disorder affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract which results in various symptoms, such as the following:
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
- Feeling full
Studies indicate that IBS is more likely to occur in women than men. Currently, there is not enough clear and definitive evidence as to what causes the disorder. Because it is a chronic condition, irritable bowel syndrome can significantly disrupt your life if the symptoms are not controlled.
Triggers of IBS Symptoms
Although the precise cause of IBS remains unknown, recent studies suggest that a combination of biological, physiological, and cognitive factors may trigger it. Some of the risk factors that are believed to trigger IBS and its symptoms include the following:
Irritable bowel syndrome is largely associated with severe infections caused by bacteria or viruses in the body, especially in the intestines. An infection can disturb the stomach’s ability to properly absorb nutrients, thereby leading to irritable bowel syndrome or similar conditions.
Gastroenteritis is a condition in which the stomach and intestines become inflamed. When this is caused by a viral infection, it is also called stomach flu. Symptoms include cramps, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Studies consistently prove that a person’s mental health can directly affect their physical health. People who have psychiatric issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression may also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
Food intolerances and allergies are also known to trigger irritable bowel syndrome, especially dairy, citrus, cabbage, beans, and wheat.
Some medications, such as antibiotics, may trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as a side effect.
Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
For symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea, your doctor may prescribe medicines to address the symptoms and therefore provide relief. If your symptoms are typically triggered by particular foods, it is advised to find alternative foods that you enjoy. Your physician may also recommend that you add more fiber to your diet and drink more water.
Gastroenterologists in Westlake and Brooklyn, OH
Irritable bowel syndrome is indeed irritating and disruptive. Here at North Shore Gastroenterology, our excellent medical staff understands how problematic it can be for a patient’s everyday life.
From heartburn to constipation, from indigestion to food sensitivities, our experienced gastroenterologists know how to diagnose your GI condition and put you on the path to total health and wellness. So much of our overall health is based on “gut health,” and we can help you maintain a healthy digestive system.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a skilled and caring gastroenterologist, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (440) 808-1212 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!