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Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common disorder which affects the colon (large intestine). It causes constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain and cramping. Irritable bowel syndrome is usually long term. Unlike other disorders like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome doesn’t result to colorectal cancer or changes in bowel tissue disorder. Irritable bowel syndrome can be controlled by administering changes in your diet and lifestyle. Some also require counseling and medication.

When should you see a doctor?

  • When you acquire symptoms like sudden weight loss, severe abdominal pain which progresses at night and rectal bleeding, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
  • What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

    The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not yet known but studies suggest that a lot of factors play a major role. The intestinal walls are lined with a layer of muscle which contracts and relaxes in a rhythm when they move to your rectum through your intestinal tract. If you acquire irritable bowel syndrome, the contractions can get stronger and last much longer than usual. This causes diarrhea, bloating and gas. In some cases, the opposite can also occur, this can be characterized by weak intestinal contractions, which slows food passage resulting to dry and hard stools.

      However, some factors which cause irritable bowel syndrome include:

      • Foods- Many people have severe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome when they consume certain things such as alcohol, carbonated beverages, milk, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, fruits, fats, spices and chocolates.
      • Stress- Most people who have irritable bowel syndrome find that their symptoms worsen and are more frequent during periods of extreme stress. While stress can aggravate these signs, it doesn’t cause irritable bowel syndrome.
      • Hormones- Studies state that women are more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome than men. Hormonal changes play a big role in triggering irritable bowel syndrome. Many women experience worsening of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) during their menstrual periods.
      • Other illnesses- Other medical disorders such as bacterial overgrowth and gastroenteritis can also trigger irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

      Risk factors of irritable bowel syndrome:

      • People below the age of 45 are more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
      • Studies state that people who have a parent or any family member suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.
      • Personality disorder, depression, anxiety, a history of sexual abuse and domestic violence is a major risk factor for developing irritable bowel syndrome.
Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test sometimes required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Pain in the lower abdomen or stomach. Abdominal fullness, cramping, or discomfort. Change in bowel habits. Bowel discomfort, constipation and diarrhoea. Urgent need to defecate. Inability to empty bowels leading to indigestion.

Popular Health Tips

Coffee Is Bad For Your Digestion - Do You Think It Is True?

Dr. Jaikish Jayaraj 92% (10 ratings)
M.Ch - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery, MS (General Surgery)
Gastroenterologist, Calicut
Coffee Is Bad For Your Digestion - Do You Think It Is True?
The quote 'Good day starts with coffee' suits a lot of people who love nothing more than a cup of coffee every morning. However, your morning tryst with a cup of coffee might not be a very healthy habit. Believe it or not, addiction to caffeine (in the form of coffee) is as harmful as addiction to any other drug. In fact, caffeine is a legal drug that slowly and gradually damages your gastrointestinal tract. Here are the negative effects of coffee on your digestive system: 1. Increases Acidity: Coffee is known to contain different kinds of oils, acids and caffeine. These compounds have adverse impact on the digestive system. The stomach and intestinal linings get damaged due to the over-consumption of these compounds in the form of coffee. Moreover, as you take coffee, your stomach produces more hydrochloric acid for digestion. This causes acidity and hampers the HCL levels all together. When we take coffee regularly for years in empty stomach, our body's capacity of producing proper amounts of HCL gets hampered. Often, HCL production gets reduced as well. This leads to indigestion of other food items and effects flatulence and produces unwanted gases due to improper breaking of proteins and fats by the body. 2. Ulcers and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Doctors believe that coffee acts as an irritant for patients of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), gastritis, Crohn's disease, colitis and ulcers. Coffee is responsible for the irritation of the lining of stomach and intestine. It is also noticed that certain enzymes present in the coffee beans are also harmful for the gastrointestinal tract. 3. Heartburn: Coffee is responsible for relaxing the esophageal sphincter muscle. The relaxation of this muscle hinders the process of digestion and causes acid-reflux, resulting in heartburn. It is known to have compounds that have diuretic, laxative and mineral blocking effects on the body. 4. Laxative Effects: Coffee stimulates the process of peristalsis or movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract. The peristalsis starts immediately after food is swallowed by the individual. The intake of coffee catalyzes peristalsis and consequently leads to emptying of the stomach even before the food is digested properly. The semi-digested food is sent to the intestine too early, causing injury to the intestine and hampering the absorption of nutrients. 5. Affects absorption of minerals: Caffeine reduces the ability of the stomach to absorb iron and also hinders the absorption of minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium by the kidney. All these minerals help in digestion at different points and regulate the bowel movement. Coffee is known to have benefits like reduction of constipation and sugar absorption. But, it also interferes with the smooth functioning of the digestive system. It has a tendency to increase stomach aches, disturb the fluid balance and the overall process of digestion.
3 people found this helpful

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Symptoms and Homeopathy Treatment For It!

Dr. Tanmay Palsule 92% (137 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Pune
Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Symptoms and Homeopathy Treatment For It!
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common disorders of digestive system producing a spectrum of symptoms such as persistent and recurring abdominal pain associated with passing of motion, change of bowel habit (diarrhea, constipation, or alternating diarrhea and constipation), etc. without any apparent cause. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the disorder of function, which means that the bowel doesn't work, as it should. If one visualizes the bowel, it appears perfectly normal without any inflammation or other structural changes. In people with IBS, the intestines squeeze too hard or not hard enough and cause food to move too quickly or too slowly through the intestines. What Are the Symptoms of IBS? People with IBS have symptoms that can include: Diarrhea (often described as violent episodes of diarrhea) Constipation Constipation alternating with diarrhea Belly pains or cramps, usually in the lower half of the belly, that get worse after meals and feel better after a bowel movement A lot of gas or bloating Harder or looser stools than normal (pellets or flat ribbon stools) A belly that sticks out Stress can make symptoms worse. How does Homeopathy treat IBS? IBS can have significant impact on individual's social, personal, and professional life. Homeopathy offers proven treatment for the IBS which treats the Mind and Body connections. IBS calls for the treatment which should address the emotional stress, the stress coping system and the intestinal hypersensitivity. This is what homeopathy attempts doping exactly. The scientific and documented study shows that the homeopathic treatment helps achieve: Soothing of mind Slowing down of negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness, frustration, hyperactivity, anger, restlessness, etc. Helping body's stress coping system Alleviating the abnormal hypersensitivity of the bowels Relieving the symptoms of bowel hyper-motility Enhancing level of joyous state of mind Individualistic approach whereby every patient is treated based on one's case Homeopathic Treatment- The Homeopathy medicine works at the deeper level, bringing the deviations of harmony among various systems of body back to normalcy. The homeopathic medicine establishes a good communication between the brain and the gut, thus ensuring proper relay of signals. The positive outcome of this is that the motility of intestines becomes regular and rhythmic, thus relieving complaints of either diarrhea or constipation or both. Moreover, Homeopathy improves the pain threshold of individual, thus alleviating symptoms of pain and cramps associated with IBS. Homeopathy medicines work at deeper level of an individual to root out root causes. The two factors that are triggering causes of IBS are emotional stress and exaggerated sensitivity to food items. Homeopathy has very well perceived the influences of psyche on the physique of an individual. Homeopathy medicines positively influences the emotions and thinking of an individual so that the person can cope with stress optimistically. Homeopathy medicines have proven efficacy to manage mental stress and its offshoots like IBS. Homeopathy medicines aid in minimizing food sensitivities and allergies.
3570 people found this helpful

Health Benefits Of Wheat Bran

Dt. Neha Suryawanshi 94% (10876 ratings)
M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management , Post Graduate Diploma In Computer Application, P.G.Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics , B.Sc.Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Health benefits of eating wheat bran 1. One of the most remarkable properties of wheat bran is that it is highly rich in fibre and therefore, is very beneficial to facilitate intestinal transit and improve constipation problems. Thus, wheat bran should be incorporated in your diet with other beneficial foods for constipation. 2. Similarly, wheat bran can be very appropriate in diets or people with obesity, since the outer layer of the cereal reduces the absorption of nutrients. Furthermore, it is appropriate to control appetite and increase satiety, so you feel you need to eat less. 3. On the other hand, it may also be advisable that people suffering from anaemia or low iron levels take bran, because this part of the cereal has a considerable contribution of the mineral. For the same reason, it is appropriate for those who perform physical exertion or strenuous sport and therefore need a lot of iron. 4. Because of its unsaturated fatty acids, wheat bran increases good cholesterol and thus helps prevent cardiovascular or heart disease. Likewise, it also contains antioxidants that prevent many other serious conditions such as cancer even while helping keep young cells. 5. However, note that wheat bran should be taken in moderation with up to 20 to 30 grams per day as exceeding this amount could cause side effects such as flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea, etc. Just as with oat bran we can incorporate it in milk, yogurt, smoothies, salads. And you should also drink plenty of water. 6. It will also be important to know that wheat bran is contraindicated in people who have recently suffered from appendicitis, gastric ulcers, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis and other gastrointestinal disorders. Likewise, people with celiac disease cannot eat it because of the wheat.
3 people found this helpful

Irritable Bowel Syndrome -Know About Its Symptoms and Management!

Dr. Vishal Khurana 93% (19 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology, MNAMS
Gastroenterologist, Faridabad
Irritable Bowel Syndrome -Know About Its  Symptoms and Management!
The human body with its multiple organs is a highly complicated structure and one or more organs often malfunction for various reasons. However, for some, no reasons are identified for this problem. One such is irritable bowel syndrome or IBS as it is commonly referred to. It is a common disorder affecting the large intestine leading to alternate bouts of diarrhea and constipation, abdominal cramps and a feeling of fullness. It is common in people younger than 45 years of age, affects women more than men, and though the exact reason is not known, the following are attributed. Physical/Physiologic reasons: 1. Signal issues between the brain and intestines: For various or even unknown reasons, the brain may not be able to send the right signal to the stomach to process food, making the stomach to be hyperactive and have an increased sense of pain or sensitivity or discomfort. Neurotransmitters, which are chemicals responsible for sending signals to various organs also could be involved. 2. Hormonal connection: Menstrual periods tend to aggravate symptoms of IBS, while postmenopausal women are largely free of IBS symptoms. 3. Genetics: People with a family history of IBS are more likely to develop IBS too. 4. Aggravating foods: Foods rich in carbohydrates, spicy foods, fatty foods, caffeine and alcohol aggravate IBS symptoms. Ability to absorb sugar could be a cause too. 5. Infections: Some people with IBS have certain bacteria identified in their gut which produces excessive gas and this could lead to altered bowel movements. 6. GI Motility Issues: Alterations in the way the food passes through the stomach can lead to either constipation (slow movement) or diarrhea (quicker movement). There could also be spasms and contractions after eating, especially if the stress levels are high. 7. Psychological issues: Panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder are common in IBS patients. It is possible that they are not able to express their psychological stress, it manifests as physical symptoms. Stress increases symptoms of IBS and vice versa. Management: 1. Manage stress: Meditation, yoga, support groups, medication and even hypnosis in severely stressed people helps control stress, providing great relief in IBS symptoms. 2. Lifestyle changes: Reduce alcohol and smoking 3. Dietary changes: Avoid aggravating foods, increase the amount of fiber if you have diarrhea and space out meals to avoid intestinal overload 4. Herbal remedies: Probiotics, peppermint oil and a variety of herbal medicines are available. 5. Symptomatic medications: Based on presenting symptoms, different medications including antibiotics for infections and motility drugs can be used. Anti anxiety and antidepressants are also prescribed to manage the psychological issues. In terms of causes, symptoms, or treatment, IBS requires a very individualized approach and your doctor is the right person to discuss this with and decide.
3228 people found this helpful

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Dr. Rangadhar Satapathy 89% (108 ratings)
BHMS, MD - Homeopathy
Homeopath, Bhubaneswar
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS), the word itself defines its characters of irritability of bowel i.e. the digestive tract and the groups of symptoms arise from it called Irritable bowel syndrome. The foods after partially digestion in stomach moves forward for further digestion and absorption in other parts of gastrointestinal tract. That movement of semi digested food bulk propel further by the contraction and expansion of the digestive tract like an earthworm movement. This movement of the bowel is called the peristaltic movement or peristalsis. In peristaltic movement the muscles of digestive tubes contracts and expands in a rhythmical way and propel the foods forward. The contraction and expansion of the muscles of digestive tube is controlled by the nerves that supply to it. The major nerve supply of the gastro intestinal tract is the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). The ENS is called the second brain which consists of around 50 cores neurons. The ENS communicate to the Central Nervous System (CNS) through the parasympathetic mainly vagus nerve and sympathetic nervous system. So this is just a brief about our digestive tract and its nerve communication aspect. In a very simple way if it is described - the digestive tract supplied by the nerves called ENS and ENS link with brain. The ENS controlled the contraction and expansion of muscles of Gastro intestinal tubes and maintain a systematic rhythmical way of peristaltic movement that helps to push the digestive food stuffs forward. It is also called the Bowel movement. In irritable bowel syndrome, the contraction and expansion of the digestive tract muscles does not work in a systematic or rhythmical way. So sometimes it contracts more frequently that causes pain in abdomen and sudden urging for stool. It is called IBS-D, i.e. Irritable bowel syndrome of dirrhoea predominant. In some cases there is sluggish contraction so there is stagnation of food bulks that creates heaviness of abdomen and constipation, which is called IBS-C, i.e. constipation predominant IBS. Whatever be the IBS, the main thing there is irregular bowel movement. As the gastro intestinal nervous system (ENS) is controlled by the Central Nervous System of brain, then any disturbances in brain could impact on the Central nervous system and also to Intestinal nervous system. Any disturbances in brain (not in anatomical sphere) i.e. in other words emotional disturbances can impact on the brain that passes from Central Nervous System (CNS) to intestinal nervous system (ENS) and causes the disturbance of bowel movement. Hence the irritability at emotional aspect causes the irritability at intestinal level. There are various emotional phase we pass through it in our life time like anger, indignation, long grieves, suppression of anger, suppression of grieves, vexation, anxiety of mind, depression etc. Thos all sorts of emotional disturbances puts impact on our brain i.e. on our central nervous system and that put impact on the gastro intestinal nervous system and the disturbed gastro intestinal nervous system cannot do his work in a right manner, thus the result is improper contraction and expansion of food pipe muscles and result IBS. Here how homeopathy helps to cure IBS permanently. As it is told Homeopathy medicines are selected as per the physical symptoms, nature of person, his/her emotional back grounds, his/her likeness and dislikeness, how he/she react to any stimuli. In IBS patient there are various emotional factors in the background that stimulate to develop the disease. it is different in different person. Leading to those emotional factor with the physical symptoms if treat in a constitutional way the IBS can be cured permanently. There are homeopathic medicines that have various specific emotional factors for which they can be prescribed. So only considering the G.I symptoms if the treatment is given it may not cure the disease for a long term period. Homeopathy treatment target the particular emotional factors of the person and act on that label thus offer a permanent cure.
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Popular Questions & Answers

I am taking one capsule each day Esogress -L in empty stomach and one capsule zincovit after lunch from 45 days but I still sometime feel upper middle stomach pain .what is the reason Sir? I diagnosed excessive acid condition and irritable bowel syndrome in past.

Dr. Jayvirsinh Chauhan 97% (6881 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Irritable bowel syndrome will not be cured by the Medicine you are taking... You may try... Better take Homoeopathic cure it permanently... You can consult any Homoeopath you like... Consult me through lybrate...if you want..

Hi, I am 22 year old female. I am dealing with so many medical problems Such as Migraine Vomiting sensation Acidity & gas Also, As soon as I eat I have urge to poop. I deal with constipation every time from last 2 years I guess Sometimes diarrhoea also. And sometimes both together. I used to weigh 55 kgs in September 2017 but now it's 48 kgs without trying I get tired very easily I don't like eating anything but sometimes I eat so much I have craving for specific foods such as burgers. Also I have PCOD.

Dr. Girish Dani 88% (2504 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
First for other complaints meet MD physician. For PCOD- PCOD is a disease where there is hormonal imbalance. Depending on your complaints, examination, reports and stage of life treatment differs and it also needs more time so get yourself treated with patience. Meet Gynecologist in whom you have trust as you will need to go for long time to him/her.
1 person found this helpful

Health Quizzes

What Causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Dr. Bharat Kumar Nara 87% (82 ratings)
MBBS, M.S (Gen Surg), M.Ch ( Surgical Gastro)
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
At times, acute stretches of infectious diarrhea can trigger irritable bowel syndrome. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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93 people took this quiz

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - How To Deal With It?

Dr. K. S Somasekhar Rao 87% (19 ratings)
DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
Talking about IBS is the best way to deal with the issue. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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198 people took this quiz

How much do you know about the causes of IBS?

Dr. Chalapathi Rao Achanta 92% (29 ratings)
MBBS, MD-General Medicine, DM-Gastroenterology, Advanced endoscopy fellowship
Gastroenterologist, Visakhapatnam
Anti-diarrhoeal medications are useful for eliminating the causes of IBS. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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538 people took this quiz

How Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Affects A Person's Sex Life?

Dr. Rajiv 89% (194 ratings)
Sexologist, Delhi
Fatigue and pain while having sex are the major drawbacks of IBD. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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1004 people took this quiz

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Reasons That Can Cause It!

Dr. Raj Vigna Venugopal 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine , DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Bangalore
Young females are more susceptible to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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5147 people took this quiz

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