Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. It’s a chronic condition with symptoms including cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation. But for most of people the IBS symptoms are mild.
IBS signs and symptoms vary among people. The most common include:
- Abdominal pain, cramping, bloating
- Excess gas
- Diarrhea or constipation, or alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation
- Mucus in the stool
IBS can be triggered by food, stress, or hormones. Usually young female has higher risk of IBS, especially with a family history or under stress, anxiety, depression. People with a history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse also have high risk of IBS.
When to see a doctor:
IBS doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. But if you start to feel below signs it’s recommended that you visit your doctor.
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea at night
- Rectal bleeding
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Unexplained vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent pain that isn’t relieved by passing gas or a bowel movement
What will help?
- Relaxation – IBS is highly related to stress so managing stress is an effective way to relieve the symptoms. People can try counseling, or relaxation exercises, or meditation.
- Probiotics – some IBS are related with infection of intestine, or change of bacteria in gut. Taking probiotics can help balance the microflora and relieve the symptoms.