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Irritable bowel


If other well it related to gastrointestinal diseases, the irritable bowel differs from Crohn ‘s disease and ulcerative colitis in which only the first functional disorders occur and the bowel is healthy , while in Crohn’s disease exists organ damage.

Irritable bowel syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can lead to stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and / or constipation . The symptoms with which it manifests differ between each individual and affect some people more seriously than others.

The symptomatic manifestations of irritable bowel can vary between days and months, coinciding with times of stress or due to the intake of certain foods.

IBS is estimated to affect one in five people at some point in their life, and generally develops in people between the ages of 20 and 30. About twice as many women as men suffer from this disorder, which can last throughout life, although it can be controlled and improved.

Main symptoms of irritable bowel

The most common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps that come and go, relieved after a bowel movement
  • Bloating and gas
  • Constipation and / or diarrhea
  • Cramps and a constant feeling of bowel movement
  • Mucus in stool

It is possible to have some or all of the referred symptoms. Most people have mild symptoms, but some can be severe enough to affect your daily life.

Causes of IBS

The exact causes of this disorder have not been determined, although experts attribute it to a confluence of conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.

Circumstances that make irritable bowel worse

  • The basis of this ailment could be in a lag in the signals that the brain sends to the intestine. Added to this are some difficulties in processing food due to a slow gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to constipation; or too fast, which can lead to colitis or diarrhea. Intestinal infections, as well as alteration of the bacterial flora of the small intestine also generate spasms or greater sensitivity. Changes in hormone levels are another factor to consider.
  • Some people have reactions to certain foods or beverages that are difficult for them to digest , such as acidic foods, high in sugars, fats or carbohydrates.
  • Emotional issues such as stress and mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or panic disorders.

Diagnosis of irritable bowel

There are no conclusive tests to diagnose irritable bowel. However, the specialist doctor will need to perform some checks to rule out other problems, such as taking a urine or stool sample or an examination of the gastrointestinal tract by colonoscopy .

In a first observation, the doctor will do an examination to check the swelling of the stomach, as well as the level of pain that occurs to the patient and if these circumstances occur:

  • Pain or discomfort that goes away after a bowel movement
  • Pain or discomfort accompanied by changes in the appearance of the stool , which can go from normal to hard or loose
  • Change in the frequency of bowel movements , which can go from one bowel movement a day to three a day or vice versa: from having three a day to one every few days

IBS has four subtypes

People with irritable bowel tend to switch subtypes.

Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation

  • Hard or lumpy stools 25 percent of the time or more.
  • Loose or watery stools less than 25 percent of the time.

Diarrhea syndrome

  • Hard stools less than 25 percent of the time.
  • Loose stools at least 25 percent of the time.

Mixed IBS

With alternating episodes:

  • Hard stools at least 25 percent of the time.
  • Loose or watery stools at least 25 percent.

Minor IBS

  • Hard or lumpy stools less than 25 percent.
  • Loose or watery stools less than 25 percent.

For some specialists, the usefulness of these subtypes is debatable. Most patients change subtype within a year from being in the predominantly constipated group to being primarily diarrhea sufferers . Other experts prefer a classification based on the number of bowel movements, rather than evaluating abnormal bowel movements. A complete history, physical examination, and laboratory and radiographic tests tailored to the patient can establish a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome in most cases.

You may also be interested in:   Digestive system


Since a cure for this syndrome has not been described in medicine, the best way to address it is to make lifestyle changes , depending on the subtype of IBS that afflicts the patient.

It is advisable to observe certain health habits, among which moderate physical activity stands out. On the other hand, in order to improve symptoms, it is advisable not to eat copious meals and to introduce fiber in the diet, in order to promote bowel movements.

In recent years it has been proven that a diet low in some foods called FODMAP benefits the condition of patients, although it should not be followed in the long term . FODMAP is an acronym that refers to a group of foods known to cause gastrointestinal problems, specifically those that contain fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols: short-chain carbohydrates and related alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the intestine.

This diet limits or eliminates the intake of certain carbohydrates, such as most fruits, vegetables, legumes and dairy products, since they are difficult to digest and in their fermentation they create bacteria and gases that cause bloating and cramps.

A good advice to control the foods that cause this discomfort is to control what is consumed, in order to find a guideline that determines which diet is more convenient.

Probiotic supplements provide beneficial bacteria that can clear and cleanse the gastrointestinal tract.

Pain control

Natural medicines, some essential oils can help to calm the symptoms . Other remedies, such as the application of heat, alleviate and calm the problem.

Stress management

Lowering your stress levels can improve your irritable bowel. It is advisable to get enough sleep and avoid a sedentary lifestyle . Meditation or stress management therapies are positive for treating the disease.

Take on the disease

Irritable bowel is a problem that you have to learn to live with . The manifestations of this syndrome may decrease or increase, depending on the lifestyle of the patient, but it does not shorten the life of the patient.


Medicine can alleviate symptoms, depending on the type of IBS. Certain medications can reduce diarrhea, while fiber supplements and laxatives help relieve constipation . Other pain relievers relieve pain and bowel movements, while antibiotics can treat bacterial infections resulting from this condition.


Probiotic supplements have bacteria that can benefit the intestinal tract of the person with irritable bowel . These live microorganisms help clear the gastrointestinal tract.

Talk to your doctor

Consult your family doctor if you think you have symptoms of irritable bowel, to help him diagnose and treat the disease. Exposing your symptoms to your GP will help determine if you have IBS , although blood tests may be necessary to rule out other health problems.

Talk to your GP if you experience feelings of depression or anxiety that are invading your daily life because of your discomfort. Irritable bowel symptoms rarely improve without treatment, and your GP may recommend treatments such as antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy, which have proven effective in dealing with IBS.

With proper medical and psychological treatment, the patient should be able to live a normal, full and active life with IBS. Irritable bowel does not pose a serious threat to physical health and does not increase your chances of developing cancer or other bowel-related conditions.

Everyday life

Irritable bowel syndrome is a permanent problem, which can decrease or increase, depending on the lifestyle of the patient . It is not resolved with surgery, but it does not shorten the life of the sufferer.

Questions for the doctor

What medications are offered to treat IBS and what are their side effects?

What is a food diary and how does tracking help diagnose or manage irritable bowel?

Is IBS linked to other health conditions?

Data to remember

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation alternated with diarrhea. The cause is unknown, but environmental factors, such as routine changes, emotional stress, infections, and diet, can trigger an outbreak.
Treatment options include changes in diet over a period of time, as well as the use of laxatives or antidiarrheals and antispasmodics.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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