Is My Stress Causing Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Even though the exact trigger of irritable bowel syndrome is not yet known, a lot of medical practitioners feel the disorder has a relationship to the body’s immune system. Since tension can adversely affect the immune system it can also make the signs or symptoms and episodes of IBS worse. In the event you suffer from IBS, anxiety can multiply the frequency of symptom outbreaks, increase the severity of these outbreaks as well as interfere with the results of your IBS treatment plan.

Tension may induce colon spasms in persons with irritable bowel syndrome. When your mind is anxious or overwhelmed by an circumstance or thought, it releases chemicals. These chemicals act on the nerves inside the colon and induce the intestines to contract or spasm, too fast or too slowly. Exactly like the heart and also the lungs, the colon is partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which responds to tension. These nerves control the regular contractions of the colon and trigger abdominal distress at times of stress. Men and women often experience cramps or “butterflies in their stomachs” when they are really nervous or troubled. In men and women with IBS, the colon can be excessively responsive to even slight conflict or tension. Tension makes the mind much more aware of the sensations that arise inside the colon, making the person perceive these sensations as uncomfortable.

If you ever eat while feeling stressed these spasms can speed up or slow down your digestive process to the point where you start getting signs or symptoms of looseness of the bowels or perhaps constipation. An overactive digestive system can also produce excess gas when exposed to tension. This gas can lead to bloating, cramping and even severe abdominal painful sensation.

Men and women with a significant requirement to achieve can also put themselves as well as their digestive system under significant pressure and are likely candidates for irritable bowel syndrome. In actual fact, there is some fascinating research that indicates IBS sufferers tend to fall into one of a couple of types: those who consistently put others before themselves, and those who drive themselves extremely hard.

In an attempt to find efficient treatments for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, researchers have been investigating the numerous substances which might be released during the anxiety response. One substance that looks to have major relevance in the anxiety reaction is corticotrophin-releasing-factor (CRF). CRF is really a family of peptides, which are molecules that link amino acids which are found in both the brain plus the gut. Inside brain, CRF receptors are found inside areas related to digestion, emotions plus the autonomic nervous system. Inside gut, CRF acts within the colon to boost mucous and water secretion, influences the speed of colon contractions, and appears to be related to the sensation of abdominal pain. It’s hoped that a better comprehension of the role of CRF might lead to refinements in the production of medicines which focus on IBS signs and symptoms.

Some evidence indicates that IBS is affected by the immune system, which fights infection inside the body. For all these reasons, anxiety management is an significant component of treatment for IBS. Tension management options include:

anxiety minimization training and relaxation therapies such as meditation
guidance and support
regular exercise such as walking or yoga
changes to the stress filled situations in your life
adequate sleep

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Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Helped By Changes In Diet?

Sufferers of I.B.S. habitually find that their symptoms get worse after they’ve eaten – not really such a surprise. Symptoms can be made much more intense by certain types of foodstuff.

Not everybody responds to the same food the very same way – a number of foods may make symptoms flare in one person, but not another. That’s why physicians do not advocate certain diets. But through trial and error, many people find that they feel improved when they stop eating certain food. Such foods can cause intestinal contraction which can make I.B.S. worse, especially if the primary symptom is diarrhea.

For many people, careful eating reduces irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. If you keep a daily record you can see which foods tend to cause the most symptoms. Always discuss your results with your general practitioner.

You may also want to consult a registered dietician who can help you make changes to your diet. For example, if dairy products cause your symptoms to flare up, you can try consuming less of those foods. You may well be able to tolerate yogurt better than other dairy products simply because it includes bacteria that supply the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk products.

Of course dairy is a good source of calcium, amongst other things. If you need to avoid dairy products, be sure to get adequate nutrients in the foods you substitute, or take supplements.

In many cases, dietary fiber may lessen I.B.S.  symptoms, in particular constipation. Fiber, on the other hand, won’t help with diarrhea or reducing any pain levels you might have.

If you’re searching for a good source of fiber look to things like vegetables, whole grain foods (specially bread and cereals) and fruits. High fiber diets keep the colon mildly distended, which may help prevent spasms. Some fiber also helps to keep your stool softer and easier to pass, by helping the stool retain water.

General practitioners tend to recommend enough fiber in your diet to help cause painless, easy bowel movements. For some people there is a side effect of gas and bloating, but it tends to go within a few weeks. If you gradually increase the amount of fiber you eat that will help minimize the risk of bloating and gasses.

It’s also important to make sure you drink enough plain water, particularly if you’re suffering from diarrhea, which tends to dehydrate you. Sodas are not a substitute for water! Gasses can also increase if you eat too quickly, or chew a lot of gum. That’s because you end up swallowing air, which has to escape somehow.

Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea, so eating smaller meals more often, or eating smaller portions, may help I.B.S. symptoms. You can also benefit from low-fat higher carb meals like rice, whole grain foods, pasta, vegetables and so on. Limit or eliminate foods that may make diarrhea worse, including caffeine, alcohol, foods high in sugar, fatty foods, gas producing foods such as beans, cabbage, and broccoli. Also limit the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol often used in sugarless gum and sugarless candy.

Fats are pretty powerful stimulants to your G.I. tract – they can cause constipation and diarrhea. They do this by causing rapid spasm or contractions – similar to a ‘charley-horse’ – in the colon and that’s why they can cause constipation or diarrhea. The foods that seem to be the biggest triggers for I.B.S. are generally high in saturated fats. Foods like red meat, fried food and dairy products. Meat, dairy, and egg yolks also have proteins that are very difficult for the body to digest. Try to have your meals in peace and take your time – don’t dash your food. It’s better for you to eat slowly.

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How Do I Really Know If I Have IBS?

Percentage of population with IBS reported in ...If you believe you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, seeing your doctor is the first step. IBS is generally diagnosed on the basis of a complete medical history, including a careful description of all the symptoms and a physical examination.

In order to make his diagnosis, your physician will ask you questions about your pain, when and how often it comes on and what factors make it better or worse. He or she may also ask about your bowel movements, with inquiries about how often you open your bowels and what your feces look like.

There is no precise test for IBS, although diagnostic tests may be carried out to exclude alternative problems. These tests could include stool sample testing, blood testing, and x-rays. Typically, a physician will perform a sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy, which allows the doctor to look inside the colon.

Your doctor puts an endoscope into your colon via your behind. The endoscopes imaging software transfers pictures of your insides to a screen so your physician can look at them clearly.

A tissue sample may be taken during the procedure. The sample is removed from the colon wall and reviewed by the lab. This test helps to rule out more serious conditions such as ulcerative colitis.

If your test results are negative, the physician might diagnose IBS depending on your symptoms, which includes how often you have had abdominal pain or discomfort during the past year, when the pain starts and stops in relation to bowel function, and how your bowel frequency and stool consistency have changed.

Like many illnesses, physicians match symptoms to a review of typical issues in order to determine whether a patient has IBS.

Symptoms include things like abdominal pain or discomfort for at least 12 weeks out of the previous 12 months. The weeks of pain may be spread out or sporadic.

Stomach discomfort will have 2 of three of the proceeding indicators:

  1. Pain disappears once you vacate your bowels.
  2. When it starts, there is a change in the form of the stool or the way it looks.
  3. Certain symptoms must also be present, such aHow often the bowel movements occur is altered

Bowel movements look different

Urgent need to defecate that is not controllable

Constipation or person is unable to have a bowel movement

Mucus in the stoolbloating

Bleeding, fever, weight loss, and persistent severe pain are not symptoms of IBS and may indicate other problems such as inflammation, or rarely, cancer.

If you have characteristic IBS symptoms and are age under fifty, then you may not need further tests.

If you are showing weight loss or bloody stools, additional tests might be required.

If bowel problems are in your family history, if you’re presenting symptoms of diarrhea-specific IBS or if you are more than 50 years old and this is the first time you are experiencing indications of IBS, you may be admitted to the hospital for additional testing. Your doctor would admit you because these symptoms are indicators of serious colon-related conditions such as colon cancer.


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The Ugly Symptoms of an Irritable Bowel

Stomach colon rectum diagram.
Image via Wikipedia

Do you know the Symptoms of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Abdominal pain, bloatedness, and discomfort are the primary symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Having said that, symptoms can be very different from individual to individual. Other IBS patients sometimes suffer from constipation which is characterized by hard, dry, and irregular bowel movements.

Often these people report straining and cramping when they try to have a bowel movement but are not able to eliminate any stool, or they are able to eliminate just a small amount.If bowel movement does take place, mucus, a fluid that serves to keep the passages in the digestive system moist and protected, is often present.

Conversely, people who suffer from IBS may also suffer from diarrhea, where the person has loose, watery stools, and too-frequent bowel movements, as opposed to constipation. People with diarrhea frequently feel an urgent and uncontrollable need to have a bowel movement. In some cases, patients with IBS find themselves going back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. People with IBS may find some symptoms receding for some months, and then coming back after a time. Unfortunately for others, the symptoms may only worsen over time.

Because IBS is a problem with the colon, and the colon removes water from unprocessed food waste, it is common for people with the condition to be constipated or have diarrhea. Constipation occurs when waste matter remains in a person’s colon for too long so that too much water is absorbed, making the stool unusually hard and difficult to pass. In contrast, diarrhea occurs when the waste matter, aided by the colon muscles, moves along the colon too fast so that only very little of the fluid content is removed.

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome usually are recurring, meaning that a person will have bouts of symptoms on an ongoing basis as opposed to just once or twice a year. People with IBS often see their symptoms flare up at certain times. For many, they notice this after consuming large amounts of food, while for others, constant pressure or stress leads to the more severe attacks. Their normal menstrual cycle could also set off IBS symptoms for some women.

The main symptom of IBS is pain or discomfort in the abdomen. This is not to say however, that if you experience stomach aches or bloating sometimes, you are definitely suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. People with IBS usually have at least two of the following symptoms:

Abdominal ache or discomfort that is alleviated when that person is able to do bowel movement;

Pain or discomfort that is accompanied by changes in a person’s regular bowel movement patterns;

Abdominal ache or discomfort that comes with changes in a person’s stool appearance. For those who are constipated, stools become dry and harder to pass, while those experiencing diarrhea have loose, watery stool.

Anyone who seems to have just one of these symptoms probably does not have IBS.

The following are not normally symptoms or characteristics of irritable bowel syndrome:

Blood is passed together with stool or urine


Pain or diarrhea that interrupts sleep


Weight loss

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