Your Ultimate Guide to IBS Manifestations and Treatment Relief
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a chronic medical condition that affects the large intestine, which is usually manifested by gas, bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, and constipation and/or diarrhea. It is important to see your doctor if you are experiencing persistent change in bowel habits because there are signs and symptoms, like weight loss, difficulty swallowing, diarrhea at night, rectal bleeding, unexplained vomiting, and unrelieved persistent pain, which indicate colon cancer.
The main cause of irritable bowel syndrome is generally unknown, but it has been linked with inflammation of the intestines, severe infection, abnormal muscle cotnractions, abnormalities in the nerves, and changes of bacteria in the gut. It can also be triggered by food, stress, and hormones. IBS usually happen to women under age 50, estrogen therapy before and after menopause, those with family history of IBS, under age 50, female, and patients with mental health problem (depression and anxiety). There are complications that IBS can bring such as hemorrhoids due to chronic constipation or diarrhea, poor quality of life (due to inreased bowel movement and frequent uncomfortable bowel symptoms), and mood disorders (depression and anxiety). There are ways to prevent or ease the signs and symptoms of IBS such as progressive relaxation exercises, counseling, biofeedback, and minfulness training. There is no definitive test to rule out IBS but the doctor usually will perfrom complete medical history, physical exam, and additional test (sigmoidoscopy, lactose intolerance test, colonoscopy, breath test, and stool test) based on your signs and symptoms. In order to lessen or relieve signs and symptoms of IBS, you need to drink plenty of fluids, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat high-fiber foods, and eliminate high-gas foods (caffeine, alcoholic beverages, raw fruit, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli), gluten, and dairy products.
Basing on your signs and symptoms, your doctor may suggest medications like fiber supplements, laxatives, anti-diarrheal medications, anticholinergic medications, tricyclic antidepressants, SSRI antidepressants, and pain medications. A medical food is available called IBgard that is specifically designed for the signs and symptoms of IBS. IBgard helps in relieving the symptoms of IBS such as diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, mucus, gas, pain, incomplete evacuation, and constipation. IBgard capsules are swallowed with a glass of water, or can be mixed into applesauce. It is important to follow doctor’s instructions, and the normal adult dosage for Ibgard is one to two capsules a day, with a maximum of three doses to get the desired results. IBgard capsules should be taken about 30 minutes before or after 30 minutes after eating.
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