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Controlling Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: Understanding the Digestive Disorder

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, progressive disorder of the large intestines described by chronic abdominal pain, bloating, discomfort, and changes in bowel habits, with the absence of any detectable organic cause. It is one of the most common digestive disorders, affecting one in ten individuals at certain point. Irritable bowel syndrome affects people ages between 25 and 45 years old. However, people at all ages may experience the problem. Also, women are often affected with irritable bowel syndrome than men. People with this disorder experiences faster movement, or sometimes slower movement, of food through the intestines. This mechanism may cause pain, abdominal discomfort, and emotional distress. Irritable bowel syndrome does not damage the large intestine.

Irritable bowel syndrome often center on the digestive tract. Some of the common signs and symptoms include abdominal pain, stomach bloating, concurrent episodes of diarrhea and constipation, passing mucus when defecating, feeling of incomplete emptying of the rectum, nausea and vomiting, depression, stress and anxiety. Other possible symptoms that are not associated with digestive system include headache, fatigue, backache, and urinary tract infection. About one-third of people affected with this disorder experiences diarrhea, while the other one-third is experiencing constipation, and the remaining population have concurrent episodes of both symptoms. Though symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can alter the regular daily routine of a severely affected person, it is not associated to several life-threatening diseases and will not progress into bowel cancer.

While the exact cause of the disorder is unknown, there are factors that could trigger and attack. Therefore, these factors must be avoided, though it isn’t possible to prevent irritable bowel syndrome from progressing. Some of these precipitating factors may include stress, regular intake of meals, certain foods, and lack of dietary fiber. According to studies, people with irritable bowel syndrome seem to have a sensitive colon. Additional studies reveal that some people develop irritable bowel syndrome following digestive system infections and food poisoning. This implies that these problems somehow altered the normal functioning of the digestive tract and made it more sensitive. Also, some medical practitioners believe that faulty nervous system may play a role in developing irritable bowel syndrome. Anatomically, the bowel is controlled by the nervous system, which conveys signals back and forth between the digestive tract and the brain. Another presumption is that female hormones may play an important role also in the risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome. Many women with the disorder discovered their illness just before or during their menstrual period.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome. However, there are ways on how to control the symptoms. Watching the diet, preventing stress, asking for an expert’s help, and confining to other treatments are some of the helpful ways in preventing the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Watching one’s diet is one of the effective ways in preventing the occurrence of symptoms. Make a food diary and try to relay on how the diet triggers the symptoms, through comparing what foods can trigger attacks. Then, lessen the fat intake in the diet. Digestion of fat creates forceful contractions. Therefore, avoid eating fat-rich foods, dairy foods, fat milk, fried and roasted foods. Avoid eating large meals, as it can trigger bowel spasms. Rule out lactose intolerance as the cause of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Lactose intolerance is often mistaken as the disorder. Lactose from food bypasses undigested to the large bowel, where it will be fermented by the bacteria inhabiting the place, resulting to cramping and gas production.

Another tip in eliminating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms is the intake of soluble fiber. Fiber aids in the reduction of the symptoms and prevention of the spasms. However, one should be mindful in eating what fiber type and the amount of fiber to be consumed because every individual can react very differently. Though fiber may firm up and slow down the passage of stool in the bowel when treating diarrhea, but some individuals with irritable bowel syndrome may get constipated, and fiber can bulk up and soften stools that make them easier to pass.

Lastly, people affected with irritable bowel syndrome should get more sleep. Also, they are encouraged to take up some relaxation therapies to prevent the reoccurrence of signs and symptoms. For more information about managing irritable bowel syndrome, seek medical assistance. The doctors know on how to manage the problem in a proper way.

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