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Understanding Symptoms and Treatment for IBS IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This condition is being talked about more and more, because it can change a person’s life. The disorder is sometimes called a functional disorder, which means it affects one organ and does no other damage to the rest of the digestive tract. Although other organs are not harmed by the condition, IBS can cause dramatic changes in a person’s life. Symptoms associated with IBS affect the stomach and bowels, and include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. These symptoms mean that nerve endings in the lining of the bowel have become irritated and overly sensitive, causing spasms and unusual activity in the colon. Irritation and inflammation can have several triggers, including lack of exercise, a high-fat diet, or a high-stress life. Changes to diet can help reduce the severity of IBS symptoms. Foods like alcohol, caffeinated drinks, carbonated beverages, high-fat foods, or greasy fried foods can all trigger IBS symptoms. Eating too much, too quickly, or waiting a long time between meals can change pH in the digestive system, putting stress on the bowel. IBS symptoms can also be aggravated by depression, trauma, or stress. However, it is important to know that mental health does not cause IBS.
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Working with a doctor to diagnose IBS is very important, because symptoms can vary among several people. A doctor can perform tests to diagnose IBS, and rule out other medical conditions. Diagnostic tests can include stool parasite cultures, x-rays of the lower GI tract and small bowel, or a colonoscopy. IBS has no cure yet, but a doctor can help you find ways to manage it and life a healthy life.
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The first and best way to manage IBS symptoms is changes to diet and lifestyle. Other changes help manage stress – daily exercise, counseling or therapy support, and a full night’s sleep all help. Prescription medications are available to alleviate some symptoms, if diet and lifestyle changes do not help enough. A prescription laxative can help reduce constipation from IBS. Loperamide can reduce diarrhea, if that is the primary symptom. Your doctor can also prescribe an anti-spasmodic drug, which will reduce involuntary muscle spasms in the colon. This class of drugs helps reduce abdominal pain and cramps. Not only can they reduce pain during the day, but they help the person sleep better. You will sleep better with less pain and bathroom urgency. These medications can really help, since lack of sleep can trigger IBS symptoms. At this website, there is a lot of information about symptoms signaling IBS, and treatment options. Click here to get started reading more about IBS and how others manage this condition. We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to learn more about IBS.