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What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. The cause of IBS is still unknown. But it has been found to be linked to genetics, dietary triggers, and stress levels.
Treatment for IBS usually involves lifestyle changes such as avoiding trigger foods, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels. Medications are also available to help relieve symptoms for those requiring more intensive therapy.
Anyone who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) knows all too well the uncomfortable and disruptive nature of the condition. Unfortunately, for many sufferers, identifying the symptoms, triggers, and treatments for their IBS isn’t always easy.
To help make managing your IBS a bit easier, here’s a list of 6 common IBS symptoms that you should never ignore:
1. Abdominal Pain
One of the most common signs of IBS is abdominal pain. It can be felt anywhere in the abdomen or pelvis area and often comes with bloating and cramping. This kind of pain may come and go in waves or remain steady throughout the day.
If you experience frequent abdominal pain that disrupts your daily life, it’s important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
Another key indicator of IBS is watery stools that are more frequent than usual. While occasional diarrhea is relatively common among people without IBS, those with the condition often experience more chronic episodes that last for several days at a time.
On the other end of the spectrum is constipation. A lack of adequate frequency when it comes to elimination habits or hard stool makes elimination difficult and/or painful.
This symptom can lead to bloating, gas, and discomfort, along with an increase in abdominal pain similar to diarrhea episodes associated with IBS.
4. Intolerance of Certain Foods
For those suffering from IBS, certain foods like spicy dishes, dairy products, or high-fat meals may trigger an episode of abdominal pain or diarrhea much quicker than usual (or worsen existing symptoms).
If any food seems to create unusual issues after eating it – this should not be ignored as it could be one way your body tells you something is wrong.
5. Inability To Sleep
Abdominal pain caused by IBS can make getting restful sleep difficult or impossible, which is why insomnia is so common among sufferers of this condition.
However, if left untreated, insomnia can lead to further complications like fatigue during the day and mood swings due to lack of sleep at night which are all additional warning signs that need attention right away!
6. Fatigue & Lethargy
Fatigue and lethargy are additional symptoms of IBS that should not be ignored. If you find yourself feeling unusually tired or sluggish, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Fatigue can be caused by poor absorption of nutrients in the body due to IBS and can even lead to anemia. Lethargy is usually related to IBS-related pain and bloating, making it difficult to keep up with normal activities.
If you’re experiencing either symptom on a regular basis, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
What to Do If You Think You Have IBS
If you think you may be suffering from IBS, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis.
They will likely ask questions about your symptoms and medical history, perform a physical exam, and possibly order tests such as X-rays or blood work to help rule out other digestive diseases.
Depending on the results of these tests, they may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further evaluation or prescribe medications to help manage your symptoms.
Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as eating a balanced diet, avoiding trigger foods, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels may all help improve overall health and well-being in those with IBS.