The irritable bowel is a common disorder, which affects approximately 15 percent of the population. It is one of several conditions known as functional gastrointestinal disorders.  This means that the intestine may function abnormally, but the tests are normal and there are no detectable structural defects.

Symptoms vary from person to person and may vary from mild to severe. The irritable bowel is a long-term condition, so symptoms can come and go and change over time. Fever, low levels of red blood cells, rectal bleeding and unexplained weight loss are not signs of IBS and may indicate a more serious medical problem.

Irritable bowel symptoms include:

Abdominal pain
Fullness
Gas and bloating
Changes in bowel habits
Alternate diarrhea or constipation or both

Causes

There is no clear answer about what causes the bowel to irritate. Symptoms are thought to occur due to abnormal functioning or communication between the nervous system and intestinal muscles. Abnormal regulation may result in increased “irritation” of the intestine or tenderness. The muscles of the bowel wall may lose their coordination, contract too much or too little at times. Although there is no physical obstruction, a patient may feel that the cramps are too strong to function normally.

Risk Factors

The following risk factors have been identified:

Gender: The irritable bowel is almost twice as frequent in women as in men
Environmental factors
Genetic factors
Bacterial activity in the intestine
Bacterial overgrowth
Food intolerance
Impaired bowel’s ability to move freely
Overly sensitive intestines
Altered nervous system process
Altered hormonal regulation

The Role of Stress

IBS is not caused by stress or anxiety and is not a mental health disorder. However, emotional stress can be a factor in the onset of IBS episodes. Many people experience worse symptoms of IBS when they are nervous or anxious.
Stress and anxiety do not cause IBS, but they can trigger episodes or make symptoms worse. Knowing that IBS is not a serious condition can relieve a patient’s anxiety or stress. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms. There may be some trial and error before finding an effective approach.

The Role of your Diet

Dietary fiber can play a positive or negative role in the irritable bowel process. For some people, too much fiber can increase swelling and cause abdominal pain. For others, eating fiber-rich foods such as pears, berries, avocados and carrots, can help relieve chronic constipation. Using a diary for two to three weeks can help identify foods and activities that seem to trigger or worsen symptoms.

Holistic Treatment

Here are some measures you can take to prevent or treat some of the symptoms without prescriptions:

Regular exercise
Improvement of sleep habits
Stress reduction
Relaxation techniques
Probiotics
Dietary changes

If you think you are showing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, visit your head physician for a proper diagnosis before deciding what treatment to follow.

You can call us at 1-800-299-7917 to make an appointment with Doctor Rigoberto Perez Diaz, or visit our website www.salud.bz, we will gladly assist you. Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and do not forget to tune into our daily program SALUD TV.