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

Vomiting

Pain or diarrhea that interrupts sleep

Fever

Weight loss

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Is There a Good Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Despite the fact that there is actually no simple remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, you can find treatments that can help decrease the symptoms.

For most men and women with IBS, a healthful life style is the most effective way to improve symptoms. This includes the following

If your main symptom is diarrhea, you should try not to have tea, coffee, alcohol, spicy foods and the artificial sweetener sorbitol, because these can increase your symptoms.

If you have constipation, you should try progressively adding more fiber-rich foods, such as bran, fruit and vegetables, in to your eating habits.

If bloating or wind is a problem, cutting out gas-producing foods, such as beans and green vegetables may help.

Other people who have IBS have discovered certain foods that can set-off the symptoms; then again, there is no easy way to go about identifying these particular foods. One way to achieve this would be to maintain a regular set of healthy foods in your diet and just try removing a single food at a time if the IBS symptoms appear. You may also seek advice from a dietician.

Stress is also one factor that can cause the symptoms. If this applies to you, handle your stress level with the help of relaxation techniques. Keeping notes on what symptoms appeared during certain activities or events can be a great help in distinguishing the most stressful experiences that can trigger IBS symptoms.

Having an active lifestyle and doing regular exercises can help in reducing stress and facilitating regular bowel movement.

If painkillers are needed to manage your pain, paracetamol is the better choice than ibuprofen or aspirin because these two have been found to aggravate the symptoms.

If self-help treatments are not effective for you, see your physician for guidance. They can also help you recognize issues that are making your IBS worse, and offer strategies about improvements you might look at making.

There are numerous over-the-counter treatments readily available from your everyday pharmacy that can relieve some of the symptoms of IBS. Those suffering from diarrhea may find some relief with anti-dirahhea medicines like loperamide, although they should only be used as needed. Laxatives, such as bran or ispaghula husk can be helpful. These are bulk-forming laxatives. However, some people find that bran makes their symptoms worse. Another option to bulk-forming medications is lactulose. This can help add water to your large bowel although it may also produce wind. There are also other forms of laxative which are more concentrated and bowel-stimulating such as senna, but you need to get medical advice prior to using these agents. Antispasmodic medicines, such as mebeverine hydrochloride and peppermint oil capsules, may help with pain and wind. Probiotics are harmless bacteria that are sometimes contained in yoghurts. There is some scientific evidence that certain strains can be helpful for IBS symptoms, but this is not conclusive.

You can also go to your health practitioner for IBS drugs. These include prescription-only versions of the medicines mentioned above. Low-dose antidepressants are known to be helpful, whether or not you are not depressed.

Due to the fact psychological factors such as stress can induce IBS, talking remedies such as cognitive behavioural therapy or psychotherapy might be very helpful for IBS symptoms, in particular for individuals who have personal troubles to deal with. Your physician can refer you to a suitable therapist.

 

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