Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is a condition that affects many people throughout the world. It can be very uncomfortable and cause a great deal of pain. But who does IBS affect and why? Let's take a closer look. 

What is IBS, and Who is at Risk?

IBS is a disorder that results in changes in bowel habits, commonly affecting young adults, but it can occur at any age. IBS does not have a known cause, but it is believed to be related to problems with the muscles in the intestine and changes in how the gut works. IBS can affect anyone, but it is more common in women than men (IBS Stats).

IBS affects 10-20% of the population, making it one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. While the cause is not yet known, it is believed to be related to problems with communication between the gut and brain.

Symptoms & Types of IBS

Symptoms of IBS can include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. IBS can be classified into four different types: IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), mixed IBS (IBS-M), and unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U).

IBS-C is the most common type, accounting for half of all IBS cases. IBS-D is the least common type, accounting for 10% of all IBS cases. IBS-M is the most common type among adolescents and young adults, while IBS-U is more common in older adults.

The cause of IBS is not yet fully understood, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of characteristics including genetics, diet, lifestyle, and stress. IBS can significantly impact the quality of life and can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort in the person suffering. However, there are treatments available that can help.

Common IBS is Treatments

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to IBS treatment, as the condition can affect people differently. However, some common treatments for IBS include dietary changes, medications, and therapy.

Dietary changes are often recommended for IBS patients, as foods can trigger symptoms in some people. For example, spicy or fatty foods may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. Patients may need to experiment with their diets to determine which foods trigger their symptoms.

Medications may also be prescribed to relieve IBS symptoms. For example, anti-diarrheal drugs can help control diarrhea, while pain medications can help relieve abdominal pain.

Finally, therapy may also be recommended for IBS patients. This therapy can help patients manage their IBS symptoms and cope with the condition.

IBS Causes

Causes of IBS can be challenging to determine as they vary from person to person. However, some of the most common causes include diet, stress, and genetics. IBS may also be caused by an infection or problems with the gut, such as Crohn's disease or Ulcerative colitis.

Living with IBS

IBS can be a very uncomfortable condition, the pain and cramping can be quite severe, and it can be challenging to go about your daily activities when dealing with IBS. However, there are ways to cope with IBS and make life a little easier.

First and foremost, learning as much as possible about IBS is essential. There are many helpful resources available online and from your doctor. Understanding IBS is key to managing it effectively.

Secondly, make sure to keep a journal of your symptoms. This will help track your progress and identify any patterns in your symptoms.

Finally, talk to your doctor about the best way to manage IBS for you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to IBS, so finding what works best for you is essential.

Digestive Health Partners Can Help With IBS 

We encourage you to contact us and set up an appointment to help diagnose and help you find the best treatment plan for managing your IBS.