Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is believed to have many causes. There is not one clear cause, but doctors look at factors like family history, recent illnesses and stressful events. This condition used to be known by names such as spastic colon, colitis and spastic bowel. A diagnosis of IBS usually comes about with a record of 3 abdominal issues per month over a 90 day period with no other explanation for the pain and discomfort experienced. Most common symptoms include bowel movement changes, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, excess gas and stool changes. Your doctor will probably run some tests like an ultrasound, a scope of your colon or a GI tract scope to rule out any diseases.
Some of the more probable causes for IBS are GI motor problems, bowel hypersensitivity, bacterial infection, psychological issues like anxiety or panic attacks, hormonal changes, overgrowth of small intestine bacteria, genetic links and food sensitivities. GI motor problems are speculation about how the brain communicates with the gastrointestinal tract. It is possible that some sort of chemical disconnect causes signals to get crossed and the bowel does not respond to the signals from the brain. Psychological issues are thought to cause the body to tense up altogether and effect the muscles of the large intestine. Theories are changing as more and more is learned about the condition. Discover More about causes at your doctor’s office or online. There are many sites with a lot of good information.
Treatment options can include anti-spasm prescription drugs or anti-depressants that may mask the symptoms, but have not proven to eliminate them. Natural supplements such as probiotics and antioxidants support GI health and can drastically improve the condition. Diet changes often help to minimize symptoms on a day to day basis and are the first thing to try because they are the easiest and healthiest approach. Avoid things like a high sugar intake, fried foods, caffeine, alcohol and highly processed foods. Watch the combination of foods and see if there is any connection. Foods that are difficult to digest like rich dairy foods and red meat, should probably not be in the same meal. Lastly, you will want to minimize your fluid intake with meals because you will dilute the acid in saliva and your stomach that work to break down foods in your system.