Do you struggle with frequent stomach pain? Are you worried about attending social events because certain foods trigger you, or do you find yourself urgently needing to use the restroom? These signs, among others, may indicate that you are experiencing irritable bowel syndrome.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic condition that can cause unpleasant symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements. IBS, is not a “one size fits all” diagnosis. It is a Large Intestine disorder that can cause uncomfortable bowel-related pains and difficulty using the restroom.

While the exact causes of IBS are still not fully understood, we do know that stress, certain foods, and changes in gut bacteria can all play a role in its development. The good news is that a variety of treatments available can help alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for those living with IBS. 

 Many people may have flare-ups regularly, with other IBS sufferers only having them occasionally. There are also different forms of IBS–IBS with constipation, IBS with diarrhea, and IBS with mixed bowel habits. One of the most notable things about IBS, which can make diagnosing it challenging, is that it does not appear on a physical diagnostic test. It is referred to as a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, with a diagnosis based on symptoms alone. Unlike other GI disorders, IBS does not cause physical damage to the gastrointestinal system. To make things more confusing, many GI conditions share similar symptoms. If you or someone you know is experiencing any symptoms associated with IBS, please seek medical attention immediately. It is best to leave a complete diagnosis to your doctor.

How Would You Identify IBS? 

Although IBS can vary significantly between patients, specific indicators of the disease are common and go beyond simple GI discomfort. If you experience diarrhea or constipation frequently, or switch between the two regularly, that is one of the critical diagnostic symptoms. They both come due to the muscles in your gut not contracting correctly. With diarrhea, muscles are contracting too frequently, and with constipation, they’re contracting too slowly. Other symptoms that occur in your gut include bloating, excessive gas, and pain and cramping.

Those symptoms which are directly and physically related to the gut are typically more noticeable and more directly associated with IBS than other symptoms. People who suffer from IBS might also feel stressed more frequently, experience joint pain, might experience mental confusion, impaired judgment, trouble concentrating, and constantly feel weary and tired. 

Again it is crucial to get to a specialist and ensure that it is not and does not develop into something more serious.

Does IBS Have A Cure?

There is currently no cure for IBS, but with the help of a doctor, you can learn how to manage your symptoms. We encourage you to contact us and set up an appointment to help with Nutrition and other gut health tips. Learning how to manage your symptoms and other lifestyle modifications may be the key to living with IBS comfortably.