Irritable Bowel Syndrome: All You Need To Know!

By Chandana Rao

Imagine this, you get ready for work in the morning, after finishing your morning rituals, including going to the toilet. When you start to leave your house, you feel like going to the toilet again!
Well, this can be quite frustrating and make you run late too, right?

So, in such cases, when people feel the urge to pass stools multiple times in a day, they may think that they have a stomach infection or loose motions.

irritable bowel syndrome facts

Which could be the case, if it happens occasionally, especially after eating bad food. Usually, stomach infections and loose motions can be associated with other symptoms like fever.

However, if a person is experiencing the urge to pass stools multiple times in a day, which is more than normal, on a regular basis, without an infection or a fever, it could indicate the presence of a disease known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

This is a digestive ailment, which can affect the intestines and the stomach.

Irritable bowel can be quite serious if measures are not taken to treat it.

So, here are a few facts which can tell you everything about IBS.

Fact #1: It is known to affect more than 1 million people

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder, which is known to affect more than 1 million people, every year, just in India! This disease is more prevalent in teens and people above the age of 40. Statistics and studies have found that IBS affects women more than it does men. Although the exact reason behind the gender-related factors have not been found out, some studies claim that it could be because of the hormonal makeup of women.

Fact #2: It affects the large intestine and stomach

Irritable bowel syndrome can be defined as a digestive disease, or an intestinal disease, which affects the large intestine and the stomach. In this disease, the stomach or the large intestine, or both, get inflamed/irritated due to various causes and lead to a number of negative symptoms which constitute the ailment.

Fact #3: Common symptoms include bloating, gas, loss of appetite, etc.

Some of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are stomach pain, loose motions, constant urge to pass stool even if intestines are empty, constipation, bloating, gas, persistent belching and flatulence, cramps in the stomach, loss of appetite, burning sensation in the rectal area due to loose motions, etc.

Fact #4: It could be caused due to unhealthy lifestyle habits

Even after years of research and studies, experts have not been able to determine the exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome. However, they do feel that IBS could be a lifestyle disease, caused by unhealthy eating habits, excessive smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, etc. A few other studies have shown that people with extreme levels of stress, depression and anxiety disorders can also be more prone to IBS, although the link between these psychological diseases and IBS has not been concretely found yet.

Fact #5: It can cause either loose motions or constipation

Many people believe in the myth that having IBS can cause both loose motions and constipation. While this is true in many cases, some people can experience only IBS-related loose motions or only IBS-related constipation. So, it is important to get this fact right, so that the disease can be detected in time and treatment can be taken.

Fact #6: There is no specific treatment for IBS

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment that can cure irritable bowel syndrome, however, treatments can reduce the symptoms and help keep them under control, so the person can lead a hassle-free life. Leaving IBS untreated may not be life-threatening, however, the symptoms can just get worse and deteriorate a person's health and quality of life.

Fact #7: Making healthy lifestyle changes can curb the symptoms of IBS

It is found by a number of research studies that making healthy lifestyle changes can be the key to treating irritable bowel syndrome, along with certain prescription medications. Eating healthy foods, avoiding oily/spicy foods, exercising on a regular basis, managing stress, seeking treatment for depression, etc., can in turn help subside the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome effectively.

Fact #8: IBS can be caused due to any allergic reaction

Another study has noted that irritable bowel syndrome can also be caused as an allergic reaction to certain foods or certain types of diets that people follow, which could lead to the irritation of the large intestine. So, it is important to be able to identify the foods which can trigger IBS and avoid them all together. It is said that a high protein diet can also cause IBS in some people.

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    Read more about: health disorder
    Story first published: Friday, May 18, 2018, 20:00 [IST]
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