Irritable bowel syndrome is known by most as IBS. This disorder can bring on symptoms such as constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping. This can be the root cause of stress and a general feeling of being uncomfortable. Even though it is not as serious as cancer may be to someone, IBS plays on the psyche and can cause a great deal of suffering.
Being able to control the symptoms is vital to leading a normal life. Medication, diet and stress management techniques are all useful in treating irritable bowel syndrome. IBS can be different for each person. It can greatly impact normal everyday life causing people to call off work, stay away from social situations, or even keep them from enjoying short trips.
Unfortunately, Irritable bowel syndrome is more common than not. Many American adults suffer. It is actually suffered by more women than men. Usually by 35, the symptoms will begin to appear.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis
Getting in to see a proper doctor is the very first step to getting a correct diagnosis for irritable bowel syndrome. You have to have an actual diagnosis before you have any hope of treating or controlling the debilitating symptoms.
While there is no definitive test for IBS in general, your doctor will surely want to make sure there is not any other disease causing your symptoms. Some serious diseases can exhibit the same symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome. Your doctor may want to do an IBS blood test, stool sample study or x-rays to be sure there is nothing more serious going on.
There are also other direct options your doctor may want to try, such as a colonoscopy to see directly into the colon. This is done using a pliable tube with a camera attached to the end. It is then inserted into the colon and the results can be seen by the doctor.
Your symptoms of bloating, gas, constipation and abdominal pain alone might be all that is necessary for a doctor to diagnosis you. Many doctors will have a list of symptoms on hand in order to be sure.
Treating IBS by Modifying the Diet
One easy step to easing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is to make changes in how you eat. Check with your doctor before you make any severe changes in your daily diet. There are foods that will increase your symptoms so it would be wise to avoid them.
If you keep a daily log of the foods you eat and when you feel symptoms, you will be able to pinpoint trigger foods. It has been found that dairy products increase irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. If the one symptom you need help with is constipation, turning to fiber rich foods is the best way to go.
There are many ways to get the fiber you need. High fiber foods include fruits, most vegetables and cereals. They will keep the colon distended which keeps spasms under control. Fiber does not come in one form either. Adding too much fiber too soon can result in gas pains. Keep in mind if you have diarrhea, more fiber will be of no help.
To aid in the prevention of dehydration from diarrhea or constipation, drink plenty of water. Six to eight glasses is the recommended amount for anyone. If you do suffer form IBS try to remember to avoid soda or other carbonated drinks. Eating too much or too fast can cause symptoms to come on quickly. Chewing gum can also bring on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
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