Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that results in several symptoms, including pain in the abdomen, changes in bowel movement patterns, diarrhea, and constipation. These symptoms occur without any visible signs of damage or disease in your GI tract.
Symptoms and causes
As mentioned above, IBS may be identified through several symptoms, which may include changes in bowel movement patterns, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The type of symptoms you have will depend on the type of IBS. The reason for IBS is not yet known.
The diagnosis of IBS involves an analysis of your symptoms, a review of your family history, and a physical exam. Through this diagnostic procedure, the doctor tries to identify a pattern in your symptoms. In some cases, he may recommend some tests to find out whether or not you have other health problems, which might result in the same symptoms.
The primary and most fundamental treatment option that you and your doctor will want to use is the dietary change. The doctor may ask you to cut excessive fats from your diet and stick to more soothing foods that help your GI tract remain comfortable. In some cases, IBS may get worse due to the bacterial imbalance. In such a situation, the doctor will want you to take foods rich in probiotics. The use of probiotic supplements may also be a viable treatment plan in such cases.
The next step is the use of medication. Based on the symptoms, the doctor will devise a treatment plan. If IBS is causing constipation in your case, you may have to take laxatives. If you have diarrhea, you are going to have to take diarrhea medication. Because the root cause of IBS is not yet known, the only way to treat it through medication is to control symptoms.
In severe cases, the doctor may have to perform surgery. This surgery may be aimed at removing the infected part of the bowel and then reconnecting it. In some cases, the surgeon may choose to bring a part of the bowel out through a cut in the belly. This surgical procedure is known as an ostomy. After this surgery, the rectum and anus become inactive, and the patient has to wear an ostomy bag over the abdominal opening (also known as a stoma) to manage stool evacuations.
It becomes more crucial to bring changes to lifestyle after getting diagnosed with IBS. Since there is no known treatment available for IBS due to the lack of information about its root cause, you may have to stick to a specific diet plan for the rest of your life. For this purpose, you will have to avoid gluten and everything that might cause a flare-up in your symptoms. You will need to eat high-fiber foods and drink plenty of water.
To keep IBS from affecting your health, you will need to stay physically active. Engaging in physical activities like walking, running, and fitness training may be helpful in this regard.
On top of everything, you will need to remain in touch with your doctor to make sure that you are managing your IBS in the best possible way.