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Have you heard of IBS? It is a common digestion problem! Irritable Bowel Syndrome as the name explains is due to the malfunctioning of our intestinal muscles. The exact reason is still unknown, however; we know that our intestines are lined with muscle layer which relax and contract all the time. Due to this contraction and relaxation the food from our stomach moves to the rectum. When there is a loss of this involuntary action in the muscles it results in various digestion problems like bloating, gas, diarrhoea or IBS.
In IBS, the person faces difficulties in passing stool which is hard and dry. There is an abnormality in the digestive process as there is a lack of coordination within the gastrointestinal nervous system.
The reason behind IBS
Let’s look into some common triggers behind Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Food: Doctors say that food allergy is one of the reasons however there is no such evidence which has been clarified. Some foods that can trigger IBS and other digestion problems are cauliflower, cabbage, chocolates, spice, fats and alcohol.
Stress: Stress may aggravate problems of IBS. During the period of great stress the condition worsens.
Hormones: Women have a higher possibility of developing IBS. In many cases, the condition is triggered during menstrual periods.
Other illness: At times other illness can be the reasons behind IBS. Some common ailments are gastroenteritis, diarrhoea etc.
Let’s look into the characteristics of IBS:
Are you suffering from irritable bowel syndrome? How do you know that it is not any other digestion issue and only IBS? Only your gastroenterologist can diagnose IBS.
To find out your health provider will look into your medical history and would like to rule out certain factors by performing some tests and by physical examination.
Symptoms of IBS
When do we say it’s IBS? If you are dreading to go to the bathroom and you have cramps and infrequent bowel, it’s just not any other digestion issue, it is IBS. This intestinal disorder is prevalent in all age group. The pain and irregularity in bowel is a way of your body saying, “go slow and think about your digestion issues’.
Your normal digestion
Food enters our mouth, goes into the stomach through the oesophagus. In stomach the breakdown of food occurs and thus nutrients are absorbed by the small intestine. This process is together termed as digestion.
The watery waste is passed to the colon which removes the indigestible part of food through wave-like contraction of its wall which is muscular.
IBS, interferes with the normal digestion of your body which results in constipation and diarrhoea. IBS is not an organic disease however it results in malfunctioning of one of the parts of your digestive tract.
In IBS, the normal motility of your bowel is disrupted. When we say motility, it is the wave like contraction which removes wastes from our body.
How to treat IBS
Diet change can do wonders for you if you are suffering from IBS. You will have to avoid certain foods and maintain a diet chart of your food intake.
At times, people who suffer from IBS may also have Lactose Intolerance. Your doctor may ask you to avoid dairy products and milk.
High fibre diet makes your stool bulkier which will require less muscular contraction and thus relieving the bowel pressure. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains add the daily fibre supplement to your diet. Try adding bran to your daily bowl of cereals.
Caffeine makes it easy as it makes the bowel muscles hypersensitive. Similarly, Nicotine is another strong stimulant.
Avoid alcohol as it contributes to IBS.
To regulate your bowel movements, there are numerous medications available in the market. Your health provider will also advise you not to stress. You can also join stress management course if you are too worked up.
We all know nothing is impossible. Take care of your body by adopting right food habits and right lifestyle.
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