Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is also known as spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, and spastic colitis. It is better to think of IBS as a group of intestinal symptoms that typically occur together. Lasting for three months or at least three days in a month, the symptoms can be more or less severe from person to person and vary in duration too. Although not common, IBS can cause intestinal damage and increase your risk of gastrointestinal cancers as well.
Symptoms Of IBS
- Abdominal pain
- bloating and gas
While women tend to have these symptoms before or during menstruation, some also report that specific symptoms increase during pregnancy. While symptoms in men are almost the same, fewer men speak up about IBS and seek treatment quickly.
When it comes to pain and IBS, the cramping is usually accompanied by some relief of pain after a bowel movement, changes in stool appearance, and how often you have a bowel movement.
Based on your symptoms alone, your doctor might be able to diagnose your IBS. Yet sometimes they may think it is necessary to rule out other possible causes by asking you to do the following:
- Change your diet for some time
- Get a stool test
- Get a blood test
- Have a colonoscopy – This is usually only done if your doctor suspects underlying causes such as colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), or cancer.
IBS can’t be cured, but your doctor can help you get some relief from the symptoms with specific drugs. Besides, some home remedies or lifestyle changes may help to relieve IBS symptoms without any medication. Getting enough exercise, minimizing stress, avoiding caffeine and spicy food, taking probiotics, and eating smaller meals are some of the most common ones.
Although there are many ways to treat IBS, the exact cause is still not known. This makes it challenging to understand, prevent, and even get working on a cure, if possible.
If you think you are struggling with IBS, spend time understanding your triggers or set up an appointment with your doctor immediately. Follow the path of treatment suggested, and you will be able to control your IBS efficiently.