Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also referred to as mucus colitis, nervous colon, and spastic colitis is a long-term chronic gastrointestinal disorder that can cause continuous discomfort.
The condition affects between 6 to 18 percent of individuals from across the world. Women are the most affected and are likely to get this condition in their late teens to early 40s.
IBS is not a life-threatening disorder, and it doesn’t make you vulnerable to other colon conditions such as colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.
IBS is more likely to affect individuals’ day to day lives, and they may feel less enthusiastic about daily activities. Some people have to completely alter their work setting: changing work hours, shifting to work from home, or not working at all, when the discomfort is more.
What Are The Symptoms Of IBS?
People with IBS may suffer from the following symptoms:
Individuals suffering from IBS will experience a mix of symptoms such as belly discomfort or pain and trouble with bowel activity (constipation or diarrhea). However, symptoms tend to change over some time. A flare-up may last for several days, weeks, or months at a time, and then either improve or resolve entirely.
Signs and symptoms may vary from individual to individual and at times may resemble symptoms of other disorders and conditions, including:
The exact cause of IBS is not known to doctors and health specialists. Several factors, including alteration in the gastrointestinal tract, food intolerances, abnormal nervous system signals, and hypersensitivity to pain, are believed to be the causes of irritable bowel syndrome. Some of the risk factors that are found to cause IBS are mentioned below:
Does Diet Play Any Role In IBS?
Dietary factors play a significant role in IBS. Symptoms are likely to worsen after consumption of dairy products, chocolates, or alcohol, thereby causing either constipation or diarrhea. Besides, some fruits and vegetables can cause bloating of the stomach and pains. It is not yet clear whether a food allergy or intolerance triggers IBS.
Mentioned below are some of the most common dietary triggers of abdominal bloating or cramping foods:
How Is IBS Diagnosed?
IBS is diagnosed by excluding other gastrointestinal conditions that have result in the occurrence of similar symptoms. An individual is required to undergo a thorough check-up to determine the duration and the severity of symptoms. The duration of the symptoms needs to be monitored before concluding. The symptoms last at least six months and should occur at least three times a month.
A person may have to undergo particular tests, including CT scans, stool tests, or blood tests for proper diagnosis of IBS. There is no specific result on these tests, but other conditions can be diagnosed by performing them if there are any.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Test
Diagnosis of IBS involves two relatively new blood tests, out of which, one is for IBS with both diarrhea and constipation (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Mixed IBS-M), and the other is for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). Besides, either test cannot diagnose irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).