Irritable bowel syndrome: what it is and how to treat it

Have you known about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Many individuals experience the ill effects of this without figuring out why. This is a chronic health problem that has no cure, although symptoms may appear.

The reasons for crises are varied. A stressful situation can, therefore, be as triggering the problem as eating something that isn’t as good for you . Subsequently, today we will discuss this issue, all things considered, it isn’t reparable, yet it can and ought to be dealt with . Then, you will better appreciate how irritable bowel syndrome happens and how you can decrease the incidental effects.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is extremely normal. Somewhere around 3 of every 10 individuals who go to the specialist to research gastric issues are determined to have this issue . What happens are successive episodes of stomach pain and awkward changes in our body’s gastric cycle.

One way to realize that you may have the syndrome is if these complaints occur without an apparent cause . And if, also, this has been happening for some time.

Symptoms can be mild or a little more uncomfortable . The number of people who reach a more serious condition due to the syndrome is small . For this reason, irritable bowel syndrome does not cause damage to the intestine or increase the risk of cancer .

How to recognize the symptoms?

A patient who has irritable bowel syndrome might experience the ill effects of a progression of side effects. The three most normal are: the runs, stoppage, and stomach pain. In any case, there are other suggestive elements that you ought to consider. On the off chance that you answer YES to a large portion of these inquiries beneath, it implies now is the right time to see a specialist.

  • Have you been experiencing cramps with any frequency?
  • Does your belly get bloated out of nowhere?
  • Do you feel like you are producing more gas than usual?
  • Are there also periods in between where there is sometimes diarrhea and sometimes constipation ?
  • Has the number of times you have a bowel movement per day increased?
  • Is there a slightly gelatinous secretion in your stool?
  • Do you feel that, when eating, it is not always easy to swallow ?
  • Have you been having heartburn or nausea ?

All of these symptoms listed are related to the intestine. However, there are non-intestinal ways to recognize the syndrome.

Extra-intestinal symptoms

In addition to the signs mentioned above, there are also symptoms that, apparently, have nothing to do with the intestine .

Some complaints that, in fact, occur frequently are about menstrual cramps, increased urinary frequency, pain during sex and even symptoms of fibromyalgia (pain, tiredness, weakness, bad mood, among others).

Where does irritable bowel syndrome come from?

But, after all, what causes this syndrome? Is there an answer? In practice, science still does not understand why this happens. There are several studies, but for now they are nothing more than theories.

However, it is worth explaining what really happens here. Look:

In the human intestine there are muscles that make a coordinated movement of contraction and relaxation . It is this movement that causes food to be processed and go from one point to another in the digestion process. Two things can happen in irritable bowel syndrome. Either this movement becomes too fast or it becomes too slow . And, like everything that is out of the ordinary in the human body, neither option is a good thing.

When it gets faster, it causes gas, cramps and diarrhea . And when it becomes sluggish, it ends up making the stool harder , therefore leading to constipation.

Who is most likely to have irritable bowel syndrome?

Like any disease, irritable bowel syndrome “includes” some risk groups .

The first of them and the one that draws the most attention is the women’s group. The reason is still unknown, but the syndrome is 2 to 3 times more common in females . Another interesting factor to note is that the disease tends to appear in younger people. Signs almost always occur before age 35 . Additionally, IBS can become worse due to psychological disorders .

There are also patients who were cured of viral gastroenteritis and then developed diarrhea compatible with the syndrome.

Treatments for irritable bowel syndrome

Now let’s talk about what is, in fact, the best part of all this: treatments for irritable bowel syndrome. All the treatments we will mention below have a single objective: to alleviate symptoms so that the patient has a better quality of life . Thus, in control, those who have the syndrome live better with the problem.

1 – Cut out foods that could trigger a crisis

The first step is to stick to your diet. In this case, you need to be tough and not allow yourself to eat certain foods . Therefore, avoid:

  • Foods that have been made fried .
  • Sauces of all kinds.
  • Drinks made with caffeine , such as coffee, some soft drinks and teas.
  • Drinks with any level of alcohol content .

There are also some categories of foods that you can avoid. Like, for example, those that cause gas . They are rich in a specific type of carbohydrate called FODMAP. Here’s a list:

  • Fruits such as: apple, mango, pear and watermelon – in their natural state.
  • Canned fruit of any kind.
  • Onion and garlic.
  • Dairy.
  • Wheat -based foods .
  • And vegetables like artichokes, asparagus and cabbage .

2 – Enrich your diet with foods that help reduce symptoms

Good foods for those with irritable bowel syndrome start with those that have more probiotics, such as kefir, kombucha and even some types of yogurt . Probiotics are organisms regarded as good bacteria, which actually help the intestine work properly.

What to eat?

The diet may vary from person to person. But the consensus is that good foods are those that are easiest to digest . The ideal is to write down everything you eat during the day for a while.

See some GOOD foods for those with IBS.

  • Fruits like papaya, melon and strawberry.
  • White and orange vegetables (pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber, chayote, carrot).
  • Fish, any fish, as long as it is prepared in the oven or steamed , never fried.
  • Chicken eggs.
  • White meats, such as chicken and turkey.
  • Skimmed milk or those without lactose.
  • Plant-based drinks, or, as they are called, almond, soy and coconut “milks” .
  • Quinoa.
  • Buckwheat.
  • Oat.
  • Dried fruits and their derivatives: peanuts, chestnuts, walnuts, pistachios, among others . They are made into oils, flours or can be eaten natural.
  • Teas with digestive properties.

3 – Have controlled eating habits

More than simply a good variety of these foods, there are also other habits that can help. People with irritable bowel syndrome often feel completely empty . Therefore, you will need to keep stricter control of how many times a day you eat and at what times. That famous 3 times a day rule works very well here.

Additionally, chewing intensely before swallowing can help you feel full.

And, although so many vegetables are recommended, you will need to stick to the simplest type of cooking , without heavy seasoning. Preferably, natural seasonings other than salt or pepper. Both are, in fact, more aggressive, even though they are natural.

4 – Drink lots of water

This tip is undeniably obvious. After all, many people already know the importance of drinking water . But here it has a specific role in combating diarrhea and constipation . Both are common symptoms and cause dehydration and constipation.

5 – Reduce stress

As we said previously, psychological problems directly affect the quality of the intestine . So it doesn’t matter if you suffer from a mental disorder or not. Stay away from stressful situations.

If possible, consult a psychologist . If the mind of someone with IBS is not stabilized, the other measures mentioned above will hardly work.

6 – Use the appropriate medications

As we have seen, most solutions are based on a new lifestyle. However, there are medications made specifically to treat IBS . Doctors will probably only prescribe these formulas when the condition worsens. These are: 4

  • Laxatives.
  • Anxiolytics.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Antidiarrheals.
  • Antispasmodics.

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