Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms

March 2, 2009 by  
Filed under IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a disorder that affects the large intestine of the body. It is sometimes also referred to as spastic colon, spastic bowel, spastic colitis, mucous colitis, irritable colon, or functional bowel.

The large intestine produces and stores stool in the digestive system. When someone suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, bowels are either squeezed too little or too much. Because of this, muscles and nerves become very sensitive. Food digests then moves either too slow or too fast through the intestines and causes irritable bowel syndrome symptoms to appear. Some irritable bowel syndrome symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, excess gas, abdominal cramps, and a bloated or swollen abdomen.

If these irritable bowel syndrome symptoms occur over a long span of time, a doctor should be consulted. IBS is very common; around twenty percent of Americans suffer from IBS at some point in their lives. If you are one of them, remember that you are not the only one suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

What causes irritable bowel syndrome is unclear. All that is known about it is that it causes the bowels not to function correctly. Other than that, the causes are pretty much obscure.

Certain things are pretty clear, though, such as the fact that stress makes things worse. Although stress doesn’t cause IBS itself, it can make it worse. Stress is known to cause irritable bowel syndrome symptoms to appear and make things uncomfortable. Events that cause high levels of stress, such as the loss of a job or a spouse may lead to an entire slew of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can also be attributed to one’s diet. Some foods can actually cause irritable bowel syndrome symptoms appear like they do with an allergic reaction. Usually, dairy products, caffeine, fatty foods, carbonated drinks and alcohol can increase the chances of irritable bowel syndrome to appear. Wheat products, tea, and citrus fruits may also be certain perpetrators.

There are some foods, though, that may also get rid of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, such as those high in fiber; they keep constipation to a down-low. Apples and peaches are some fruits high in fiber, while carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and peas are some vegetables high in fiber. If you like to eat cereal or bread, make sure you opt for whole grain kinds.

If you are not quite fond of vegetables and fruits despite their health benefits, opt for a pill or supplement that is high in fiber to battle IBS.

Always watch what you eat and keep track of which foods may cause irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Keeping a list of the foods that you eat every day helps you identify which foods are causing IBS. Once you figure it out, avoid them; this is a small price to pay for a longer and more fulfilling life.