Although irritable bowel syndrome can disrupt your life, you can relieve the symptoms. First, you have to understand how it starts.
I have some bad news. There is no known exact cause of IBS. The good news comes however, there are some indications that this illness can arise from various situations in life. For example, there is a prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome present in those who have anxiety or depression.
Some doctors surmise that IBS is a genetic disorder as well. Regardless of its causes, those of us who suffer from this illness just want relief.
Symptoms of IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by many symptoms. Not all symptoms are present, but in some cases, they can be. These symptoms can sometimes make daily routines complicated, including discomfort during school, work, and social occasions.
Some people even have to start working from home to be able to adjust to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Here are some things to watch for.
Irritable bowel syndrome can cause diarrhea at random. Somehow the brain sends the wrong signals to the colon and causes spasms. These spasms make wastes move faster through the digestive system which causes loose stools, or diarrhea. If you seem to be having diarrhea on a fairly regular basis, this could be cause for concern.
2. Bloating or gas
If you are experiencing bloating or gas after meals, and not just spicy foods, then you could have IBS. Yes, it is normal to have these symptoms sometimes, but with IBS, these things will happen much more often, even every day for some of the more severe cases.
After meals or when colon spasms occur, you might experience cramps. These cramps can be severe and leave you with little time to use the bathroom. That’s why it’s so hard to keep a normal schedule when you have IBS, at least with the severe kind.
Not only does IBS cause diarrhea, but it can also cause constipation. There are certain foods which irritate IBS and cause the onset of these symptoms listed above. With constipation, you may be triggered by cheese or food which lacks ample fiber.
Sometimes irritable bowel syndrome can also cause nausea. Due to the irritation from certain foods, the stomach will react with the urge to vomit. This feeling may pass or lead to regurgitating the irritating foods.
Relief from IBS
The trick with irritable bowel syndrome is that no one treatment works for everyone. Each person has different symptoms and thus a tailored treatment must be used. While some people can easily watch their diets and eat the right foods, this can prove difficult for others. So, let’s examine a few treatment avenues to get started.
IBS can be worsened by trigger foods. Foods such as cheese, beans, and bread can cause constipation and bloat. Certain vegetables, on the other hand, can cause diarrhea. Sometimes cheese can cause both diarrhea and constipation as well. This is why you must recognize your trigger foods, and it is different from person to person.
Your doctor can provide you with a list of foods that could be problematic. As you test each food, you may notice that some of these cause severe issues, while others only mildly irritate your colon. This can only be discovered through trial and keeping a food journal.
Lifestyle and diet changes
After you’ve discovered what hurts you the most, then you can work on changing that. Pay attention to how much caffeine you ingest on a daily basis, as caffeine can also cause spasms to occur in the colon. You may have to limit yourself to one cup of coffee per day.
Try to add fiber to your diet but pay attention to how you get this fiber intake. Some vegetables are on the “do not eat” list you acquired from your doctor and you may have to search for another way to include fiber in your diet.
Get plenty of exercises, whether it’s running, walking or dancing. This helps regulate your systems and decreases symptoms of IBS. Make sure that you drink plenty of water while working out. Water not only hydrates you but also provides oxygen to your muscles as well.
Take care of your mental health
Mental health plays a huge role in how you deal with IBS. Considering the brain has so much influence on how the digestive system performs, your mental health could be the key to having a healthy or unhealthy experience. Anxiety has been known to greatly affect the colon, so try calming exercises.
IBS Can be treated
No worries, there are many ways to treat irritable bowel syndrome. If these natural solutions aren’t enough, you can seek the help of a health professional, who may offer medication for irritable bowel syndrome. Although it may take some time to recognize your triggers and regulate your mental health, the results can be life-changing.
If you have any tips on how to treat irritable bowel syndrome, don’t hesitate to include your information in the comments. I wish you well and hope your battle with IBS is a short one!
By Sherrie H.