Stress has the ability to trigger many bowel issues, and with the stresses, fears, and interruptions of COVID-19, it’s important to be aware of what to watch for if you’re experiencing difficulties or discomfort in your gut.
A common issue related to stress and diet is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Understanding what is happening can help you decide on the actions to take to correctly manage your symptoms and find the necessary relief to get things back on track.
How to identify IBS
Nearly 12% of adults suffer from IBS, and it seems to affect women more often than men. The symptoms of IBS tend to be triggered by diet, but stress and even changing hormones can effectively “cause” symptoms to flare up. These symptoms can include pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and excessive gas. IBS has also been associated with fatigue, brain fog, and an inability to focus. It can also be associated with joint pain.
Many of the symptoms associated with IBS are common among other bowel diseases, making it hard to differentiate from other illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease. Usually, if any of these symptoms last longer than a few days or seem to reoccur regularly, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor.
How to address IBS
Your doctor will want to review your diet, your stress load and any recent life changes, and possibly any hormonal changes that could be triggering your symptoms. Some adjustments may need to be made to help further identify the causes of your symptoms. Considering lifestyle changes or your emotional condition can further help alleviate your symptoms.
Currently, there isn’t a cure for IBS. However, it’s also not considered a “serious” illness and is manageable with a good treatment plan once you can identify some of the primary trigger events causing your symptoms.
Scheduling an Appointment
Digestive Health Partners can help diagnose IBS or any related bowel issue and can help you develop a treatment plan to help you get back to your life.
Consider scheduling a TeleHealth appointment, where we can discuss your symptoms and decide if an in-person visit is necessary to understand your issues. Review how we’re handling TeleHealth appointments here and contact us to schedule an appointment.