Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder affecting a still increasing number of people. An estimated 10-15% of the general population is thought to be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome in one way or another. The condition seems to be affecting more women than men.
Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is not an exact science. The severity of the disease varies from individual to individual - as does the symptoms - but generally IBS is classified as a "functional disorder". This term is used for a disease or disorder where the way "your system works" has been altered in a way that is difficult to identify by means of traditional examinations like x-ray and blood tests etc.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is categorised as a multi-faceted disease, which means that sufferers of IBS suffer from one or more of the following disturbances:
problems in the interaction between the brain and the intestines/gut disturbance in the autonomic nervous systems (regulates bowel movements) sensory malfunctions
Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms.
The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are usually one or more of the following:
It is not known exactly what causes IBS. There are strong suggestions - however - that the disease is triggered by stressful "life changing events" such as moving house, changing jobs or bereavement. About half of the people suffering from the condition can refer the start of the symptoms back to such events - indicating that there is psychological links to the disease - which may be why it has been referred to as "The Brain/Gut disease".
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis
As stated above there is no single blood test, scan or x-ray that can diagnose IBS. These tests are still carried out though - in order to rule out other conditions.
Other investigations made could include endoscopic examinations of the bowel and/or stomac, and ultrasound.
More often than not, the diagnosis is made based on the presense of one or more of the symptoms above.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets
A good healthy diet can be instrumental in relieving the symptoms of IBS and keeping the condition under control. While keeping to an IBS diet doesn't cure the disease it can greatly increase IBS sufferers comfort and ability to live with the condition.
The following is a few good tips to help you:
Food with a high amount of fibre improves digestion. Start slowly, and let your system get used to the increase in fibre intake.
Drink lots of water. This is neccessary with a high fibre diet anyway. The recommended daily intake of water should be no less than 3 litres.
Avoid food that makes the symptoms worse. Coffee and milk are among the sinners, along with certain vegetables known to produce a lot of wind (onions/cabbage/beans).
Keep a food diary to help you identify food that seems to cause you trouble.
Avoid large meals. Eat small and often.
Other things you can do to try and help control Irritable Bowel Syndrom includes, but are not limited to:
Physical activity and exercise. It helps reduce stress and improves digestion. Reduce stressful situations in your life. Try not to worry too much, as this can lead to digestive problems, and psychological/social problems.
Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS usually occurs periodically throughout the sufferers life. The symptoms can increase or improve and even disappear.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is NOT a life-threatening disease, and will not lead to bowel cancer and other serious digestional conditions.
Most sufferers are able, assisted by medication and diets, to live a close to normal life. This blog provides links to materials that will help sufferes of IBS to relieve their symptoms, and to better understand the condition.
Lower Back Pain and Irritable Bowel SyndromeIs there a correlation between lower back pain and Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Researchers have long argued that IBS may be caused by abnormal functioning of the nerves and muscles of the bowel. No indication or explanation is ever given as to why this malfunction might occur ...More Here
Acid Reflux Links With IBSAcid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is an unpleasant condition in and of itself, as you know. Now imagine being afflicted with that AND irritable bowel syndrome ...More Here
IBS, Food Intolerance, and ChildrenToday's children and young people are growing up with far more dietary and environmental hazards than did previous generations. Children are generally not major fans of a simple, natural diet, high in plant based foods and water! And despite the popularity of many television ...More
Exercise and IBS: What's the Connection?Exercise is vital to the IBS sufferer for two specific reasons. First, exercise makes your body stronger. Exercise strengthens the immune system, making it less likely that other illnesses or disorders will occur. ...More