What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Do you suffer from abdominal bloating, cramping, excess gas, and diarrhea or constipation? You might have irritable bowel syndrome, a relatively common condition that, while it can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing, is highly treatable.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, occurs in the large intestine, and while it doesn’t cause permanent change in the bowel tissue, it’s still a condition that requires treatment. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but what is known is that certain behaviors may trigger it in some people, for instance:
-Specific foods such as chocolate, cabbage, beans, fats, spices and nuts may irritate the bowel in some people, resulting in IBS symptoms.
-Extreme or prolonged stress has been identified as playing a role in aggravating IBS symptoms; for instance, stress over troubles at work or during finals week at school.
-Hormonal changes like those that occur during menstruation may cause symptoms to become worse.
-Other illnesses can also cause symptoms to flare up, perhaps as a result of stress, inflammation or bacterial imbalance in the gut that occurs at the same time.
Certain groups of people may also be at an increased risk for developing IBS, including:
-People under 45 years of age
Those with a family history of IBS
-People with mental health issues like depression or chronic anxiety
While IBS has not been directly associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal pain or weight loss are all signs that there may be something more than IBS at play, and require an immediate visit to your doctor. Likewise, if your IBS symptoms are disrupting your life, seeing your doctor is the best way to get the treatment you need to feel better. Today, there are lots of treatment options for IBS, including lifestyle changes and medications. If you’re experiencing IBS symptoms, there’s no reason to suffer. Call (800) 771-1953 to make an appointment with the Incontinence Institute today.