Irritable bowel Syndrome, IBS, is a chronic, long term condtion that affects the small or large bowel. IBS causes pain and/or discomfort and an abormal bowel habit. Irritable bowel syndrome can happan at any time, at any age. However most people who experience irritable bowel syndrome are between the ages of 15 and 40.
Irritable bowel syndrome is often confused with ulcerative colitis or colitis. There are differences. It is not a disease, and it will not lead to colon cancer. It does not cause intestinal bleeding. Ulcerative colitis is a disease, is able to put patients at risk for colon cancer, and bleeding is a common symptom.
The symptoms of irritabe bowel syndrom are usually very mild, and since they are not extremely troublesome, most don’t bother to visit the doctor over their symptoms. Others may experience more severe symptoms such as abdominal cramping bloating, and diarrhea. Those who experience more severe cases of IBS are usually affected by more than one of the symptoms. They either have pain, constipaton, or chronic diarrhea.
Of all the symptoms of irrital bowel syndrome, the most common is abdominal pain. This pain may be very mild or severe, an it may be made better or worse by the opening of the bowels, passing gas, or eating. Pain may occur at any of the time, most often times being in the evening. Women who have IBS find that their pain fluctuaton relates to their menstrual cycle.
Those who have irritable bowel syndrome may find that they need to open their bowels, especially after they eat breakfast. The stools will vary from a hard consistency to loose and watery. After, there may be a sense that the bowels are not completely emptied. Women are more likely to get constipated than to experience diarrhea.
Other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may include a bloated abdomen, excess wind, nausea, vomiting, and indegestion. some people may also experience sensations of fullness. If the person’s main symptom is diarrhea, their food passes through the digestive system fastr than usual.
There may also be other problems that are associated with have IBS. Some of these problems include back and groin pains, lethargy, depression, disturbed sleep, and more frequent urinations. The need to pass water is more common in women. It can become very urgent and painful. Women may also experience painful periods and pain during sexual intercourse.
The exact reason or cause for irritable bowel syndrome is not known. The way that the bowel works changes, but medical tests find no physical reasons that explain the symptoms or why it occurs. The symptoms are thought to be caused by muscle contractions in the wall of the bowel. These contractions arer generally more frequent and stronger in those who have IBS. These contractions may be bothersome after food is intaken in stressful times. Also intolerance of certain foods such as tea, coffee, and dairy products may trigger some of the symptoms.
Occasionally irritable bowel syndrome may develop after a spell of gastroenteritis. This is an inflammation of the stomach and bowel linings which causes diarrhea and sickness. It may be caused by food poisoning or an infection with a virus or bacteria.
Remember there are many conditions that have symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome, so the best way to find out if you have IBS or another condition is to go see your doctor. He/she will help determine what it is the you are suffering from and how to treat it.
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