Dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Posted on: Dec 15 2017
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is thought to affect anywhere from 25 to 45 million Americans, mostly women from their late teens the to early 40s. The condition is a mix of belly discomfort or pain and bowel irregularities.
While you would think IBS could be a precursor sign of problems such as colitis or color cancer, it’s not. And it’s not life-threatening. But the reality of IBS is that it can make a person miss work, avoid social situations, and change their daily lives to deal with it.
At Ogden Clinic GI at McKay, we have various methods for treating IBS and getting your life back.
What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
- Belly pain or cramps, usually in the lower half of the belly. These worsen after meals and improve after a bowel movement.
- Constipation, alternating with diarrhea
- Mucus in the stool
- Gas, bloating
- Harder stools than normal
- A distended belly
What causes IBS?
The exact causes of IBS are still a mystery. It’s thought that nerves and muscles in the bowels of those with IBS are overly sensitive, causing the bowel to either contract or relax, with corresponding cramping and pain. When it involves diarrhea, bloating, and gas, it’s thought the bowel muscles force food through too quickly. It’s believed that the bowel muscles are reacting to stimulants such as food, stresses, hormones, medications, or other illnesses.
How do we treat IBS?
At Ogden Clinic GI at McKay, we usually treat patients with IBS through various lifestyle changes. There is no direct causal link, so treatments instead focus on relieving the symptoms of IBS.
Dietary changes can be effective. Cutting back on fatty foods, dairy products, chocolate, alcohol, and caffeine is usually the first step. Other symptoms can be treated with laxatives, antispasmodics, antibiotics, fiber supplements, and antidepressants (for stress).
Stress management can play a key role. Regular exercise, counseling, deep breathing, and other methods for reducing stress can reduce IBS symptoms and occurrences.
If you have any of the symptoms of IBS, please call the team at Ogden Clinic GI at McKay, 801-387-2550, and let us help.
Posted in: Inflammatory Bowel Disease