Most people live with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) without being aware that it is a disorder. Hence they are surprised at being diagnosed for the ailment, or rather, surprised that the doctor has put a name to symptoms that they thought were normal occurrences. They have been suffering for several years with the symptoms and experiences like abdominal cramping or bloating happen so often that it becomes a normal occurrence in their perception. People get used to these discomforts and may tend to ignore it.

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists. About 15 to 20% of the American population suffers from irritable bowel disorder. Many people experience mild abdominal discomfort that lead to aches in the abdominal muscles. This may be followed by a phase where there is no abdominal discomfort. Irritable bowel syndrome is also known as mucous colitis, spastic colitis, spastic colon, nervous stomach or irritable colon. The symptoms include abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. This is a disorder related to the gastrointestinal tract, more so to the large intestine or colon. More details please

Irritable bowel syndrome is classified as a functional disorder and cannot be diagnosed with the conventional methods of blood tests and x-rays. It is possible to diagnose it only by a careful examination of the physiological functions. At times colonoscopy is used for a close examination of the colon. A flexible tube with a small camera at the end is inserted into the anus of the patient. The image captured by the camera is projected on a screen which is used by the gastroenterologist for examination of the colon tissues. However, colonoscopy by itself may not provide a solution to the problem.

IBS is a complicated condition and very often difficult to diagnose. It is believed to be caused due to the disturbance in the interaction between the intestines, the autonomic nervous system, responsible for control of the lining of the intestinal tract and the brain. It is distinguished by various symptoms of abdominal discomfort, change in bowel patterns, watery stools or constipation. Each person experiences varied symptoms where some may have mild attacks while others may have severely disabling ones.

There is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome; patients can be treated symptomatically. Changes in lifestyles, diet, reduction of stress and some medication may help to alleviate symptoms. Again, it all depends on the individual’s bodily constitution. Some persons may respond to treatment while others may not. Eating the right type of food and including fiber in the diet may help to keep the symptoms at bay. It is best to seek medical help to treat the disorder and to formulate a diet plan suitable to the individual needs, with the help of a dietician.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.