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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Known in short as IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the very common types of disorder where your colon or the large intestine gets infected. If you have this condition, you will experience several types of discomfort like diarrhoea, bloating and cramps. IBS can be very distressing because it is a chronic condition which requires long-term treatment and care. If you that is not done appropriately, it could lead more serious conditions including bowel or colon cancer.

Prevalence
IBS can occur to anyone and is found to be most prevalent in Asian countries as the food intake is often more irregular and unhealthy. It has been found that people below the age of 45 are among those in the high risk group of getting IBS. Meanwhile, the likelihood of women who has IBS is twice as many as compared to men. Besides that, family history plays an important role while people with mental health conditions like depression and extreme stress are known to be at risk of this disease as well. In Malaysia, it has been found that colon cancer is one of the top killer cancers in the country.

People who have IBS experience this mainly because the walls of the intestines, which are lined with muscles are not able to contract and relax efficiently. This will then cause the contractions to be longer and stronger thereby creating a reaction like bloating and gas.

Prevention
Preventing IBS is very much similar to preventing any form of indigestion. However, it must be known that IBS can be caused by mental-triggered conditions like stress and depression. As such, a change in the lifestyle and work conditions might help in reducing the affects of IBS. Typically, you need to be more relaxed than stressed so as not to be at risk of this disease. A good dietary plan and a suitable fitness program will help your body to maintain its efficiency which will then prevent you from contracting IBS.

Diagnostics
There are several tests which need to be carried out by your doctor to diagnose your condition. Based on symptoms alone, it could be a severe case of indigestion and might not be IBS. This means that the common medication could be used. Your doctor or family physician will most likely be carrying out an elimination process of other conditions to ascertain if you have IBS. To do that, factors like your age, medical history and diet habits will be taken into consideration. To support the findings, you might have to undergo imaging tests like colonoscopy, x-ray and CT scan. Meanwhile, samples might be taken from your blood to test for lactose while stool tests will be carried out as well.

Specialists
Your family physician is the best doctor to see if you experience any symptoms of IBS. In most cases, if you experience any pain or irregularities in your body’s digestive system, you will see your doctor who will prescribe the normal drugs for these conditions. However, if the symptoms continue and show no sign of subsiding, your doctor might suspect something more serious and take some blood samples. This is where you might be referred to a gastroentologist who is a specialist in the treatment of digestive disorders and other related diseases.

Symptoms
Depending on your medical history and current health condition, the symptoms might vary if you have IBS. These signs are quite common as they are similar to most kinds of indigestion situations. If you constantly experience a bloated feeling or abdominal pain or cramps around the abdomen areas, then those might be serious signs that you should take note of. Other common symptoms include diarrhoea and constipation while mucus in the stool could be very serious. However, if you experience rectal bleeding and severe weight loss without trying and abdominal pain at night, then you should see the doctor immediately.

Medication
IRB is a serious medical condition and you will require long term treatment. Once it is confirmed that you have this problem, your doctor might prescribe you with antispasmodic medicines like asdicyclomine while you might have to take asloperamide which is a type of antidiarrheal medicine. As IRB can sometimes be triggered by a mental health condition, you could be given antidepressants as well. In more serious conditions where after certain medication and your condition still persists, you might be advised to take a type of laxative known as lubiprostone or linzess used to relieve pain and constipation for IRB patients.

Home Remedies
The first step to recovering from IRB is to make major dietary changes to your lifestyle. This is where you must start reducing your intake of high-gas foods like carbonated drinks and certain types of vegetables. Gluten foods should be reduced as well and that includes barley or wheat. As you might be taking certain types of vegetables, your body will still require fiber to maintain your digestive health. As such, you can take fiber supplements that include psyllium that can help in controlling constipation problems. Besides that, you must ensure that you have a strict eating interval where you should have your meals regularly. Exercising is an important part of your daily activity where you should drink lots of water as well.
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References

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20024578
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/basics/treatment/con-20024578
http://www.webmd.com/ibs/guide/irritable-bowel-syndrome-treatment-care