Learning To Live With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (commonly known as IBS) cannot be defined by any one specific ailment. It involves many symptoms that plaque the digestive process as a whole. It is one of the more difficult medical conditions to diagnose due to the fact that the symptoms can mimic that of other intestinal problems. Symptoms vary from patient to patient, but the following are found to be the most common:

Diarrhea

Constipation

Change in bowel patterns over a two month period of time

The feeling of still having to go even after one has finished a bowel movement

Bloating, gas and abdominal pain, that is somewhat relieved after a bowel movement

Nausea

Mucus in the stool

If one suffers from two or more of the above symptoms for a month or more, it is recommended that a medical evaluation be sought after to rule out IBS or other possible abdominal disorders.

One may choose to start with a trusted family doctor for a routine check up. The doctor will take note of any symptoms, request blood work and have the patient give a stool sample. This test is completed by the patient at home and brought back to the lab where it can be evaluated and detect if there is any blood in the stool. A bloody stool can signify a number of things from a ruptured hemorrhoid to colon cancer. If blood is discovered in the stool sample, the patient will be referred to a gastroenterologist for further assessment. A colonoscopy may then be performed for further evaluation.

If the test confirms the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, doctors have found that changes, especially to a patient’s diet, and stress management can greatly reduce the discomfort of this disease. There are foods that have become known as trigger foods that appear to agitate symptoms of IBS more than other foods and beverages. It has been proved that when these foods are avoided and other foods such as one’s with extra fiber are added to the patient’s diet the symptoms improve. Some of the most common foods that have been linked to igniting IBS symptoms include:

dairy products

red meat

nuts

alcohol

whole wheat and grains

caffeinated drinks

After examining this list,one may come to the conclusion that giving up eating is their only option. It’s not as bad as it seems and the avoidance of these trigger foods is to help get one’s IBS under control. The more time that goes on while following this regimen one may find that in time