IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a very common health condition. In fact, it affects as much as 15% of the general population — even if many of those cases go undiagnosed.
IBS can develop over time. It can also be caused by a sudden event, like suffering from gastroenteritis after dealing with bacteria or a virus. In either case, IBS tends to have many different forms, which can make it difficult to diagnose.
seeing the signs of IBS
IBS can reveal itself through a variety of different symptoms. Here are a few of the most common:
- Abdominal cramping, sharp pain, and general discomfort are common, especially in the lower portion of the body.
- Bloating and an abnormal amount of gas are also normal symptoms.
- Variations between diarrhea and constipation can take place for those with IBS.
- You may find a whitish mucus in your poop, which research has connected to IBS at times.
- Outside of the digestive system, IBS has been associated with migraines, disrupted sleep, persistent pelvic pain, and even fibromyalgia.
This is a very large list of possible symptoms — many of which cross over with other potential health concerns. Fortunately, healthcare professionals can use a set of standards called the Rome Criteria to narrow down if you’re dealing with IBS or something else.
tips for managing IBS
In most cases, IBS is a moderately painful condition, and you can take steps to manage these symptoms at home. However, if things get worse over time, you should see a doctor.
For instance, if you’re losing weight, suffering from rectal bleeding, or have random vomiting, don’t be stubborn. Talk to a medical professional.
Along with seeking out knowledgeable advice, there are several other ways you can address IBS to ease symptoms and restore a sense of peace and comfort to the digestive aspects of your life, including:
- Adjusting your diet to reduce or eliminate FODMAPs and other troublesome foods.
- Taking digestive enzymes to support clean digestion.
- Avoiding tight belts and clothing.
- Maintaining upright posture and slightly elevating the head-side of your bed.
- Reducing chronic or excessive sources of stress and anxiety.
It can be hard to manage something as vaguely diagnosable and diverse as IBS. However, if the symptoms start to creep into the picture, there’s no reason you should continue letting them sabotage your comfort and quality of life.
Instead, pursue a diagnosis and take steps to manage the digestive condition in the name of maintaining an enjoyable, high-quality life on a daily basis.