Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In a tropical country like India, major and minor irritations, and problems regarding the stomach and the intestines are very natural. They occur everywhere, around the country.

A common condition that causes a variety of unpleasant abdominal symptoms is the Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common gut condition. It affects one in five people, mostly people between 25 years and 45 years of age. This disease affects the women more than men.

Although it isn't possible to prevent IBS from developing as the exact cause behind it still remains unknown, there are definitely certain things that that should be avoided inn order to avoid the triggering off attacks. These include stress, irregular food timings, and a lack of dietary fiber. IBS also develops in some people following gut infections and food poisoning.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a kind of bowel disorder. It is characterized by abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. But these abnormalities are not seen on routine clinical testing. This is a fairly common disease, and a large portion of the patients of a gastroenterologists complain about this disease.

The abdominal pain that the patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome complains is predominantly of either diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D), constipation-predominant (IBS-C) or IBS with alternating stool pattern (IBS-A). Irritable bowel syndrome can strike an individual either generally. Or as a result, or aftermath of someinfectious illness like the following:

Fever

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Positive stool culture

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms

Though the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are close to those of general diarrhea, or amoebic dysentery; some of the more general symptoms to help in identifying irritable bowel syndrome have been discussed here. The following symptoms are common for patients suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome:

abdominal cramps that may be eased by passing wind or passing a motion

bloating and abdominal distension

diarrhoea

constipation

occurrence of alternating diarrhoea and constipation

a feeling of incomplete emptying of the rectum

backache

tiredness

headaches

urinary or gynaecological symptoms

Other minor symptoms include:

rapid digestion of food

frequent defecation

bloating

headaches

anxiety

Frequent burping

Bad breathe

fatigue

nausea

Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Since the biochemical cause of irritable bowel syndrome has not yet been established, diagnosis is also very difficult. Therefore diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is generally done on the basis of symptoms.

The guidelines of tests to be adhered to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome , as proposed by the Gastroenterological Association, are as follows:

gastrointestinal infections

lactose intolerance

Coeliac disease

use of diagnostic algorithms like Manning Criteria, the Rome I Criteria, the Rome II Process, the Kruis Criteria

However, since the symptoms are quiet close to those of diarrhea, the chances of misdiagnosis also remains to a great extent.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

The treatment of irritable bowel syndrome is best treated when the actual cause can be diagnosed. It should, however, never be mixed up with inflammatory bowel disease.

The common remedies are as follows:

Peppermint oil and antispasmodic medication relieve abdominal pain

Anti-diarrhoea medication to stop diarrhoea

Increased fluid intake

More of fiber containing food

Mild laxatives

Reducing caffeine intake

Less alcohol consumption

Reducing stress

Time to relax

Exercise

Complementary or alternative therapies like probiotics, acupuncture, etc

Avoiding foods that has reactions in that particular individual

Drugs affecting serotonin

Multi-herbal extracts

Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy

Accompanying Diseases

Several medical conditions have been identified that affect the patients with irritable bowel syndrome more. Some of them are as follows:

Headache

Fibromyalgia

Depression

Inflammatory bowel disease

Abdominal surgery

Endometriosis

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