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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterised by a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain and inconsistency of bowel movements. It is a common disorder that primarily affects the large intestine and the digestive system of a person's body. It is a mix of stomach discomfort or pain and very disorganised and troubling bowel habits, either going more or less than often. A person experiencing irritable bowel syndrome may have a different kind of stool. Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder that a person may have to manage in the long term. Irritable bowel syndrome is also called:
• IBS colitis
• Mucous colitis
• Spastic colon
• Nervous colon
• Spastic bowel
The four types of irritable bowel syndrome include:
• IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
• IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D)
• Mixed IBS (IBS-M) alternates between constipation and diarrhoea
• Unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U) for patients who don't fit into the above types
It can be a long-lasting problem that changes how a person lives their life. Disorders like anxiety, depression and fatigue are common with people who have irritable bowel syndrome.
The causes of irritable bowel syndrome are not clear and still unknown, but studies have suggested that factors that appear to play a role in this disorder include:
Muscle contractions in the intestine: The intestines walls are lined with layers of muscles that contract as food is moved through a person's digestive tract. Contractions that are intense and last longer than usual can cause gas in your digestive area. Weak and short intestinal contractions can cause hard, dry stools.
Severe infection: IBS may develop after a severe bout of diarrhoea (gastroenteritis) which tends to be caused by bacteria or a virus. IBS can also be linked with a surplus of bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth).
Nervous system: Abnormalities in your digestive system's nerves may cause you to experience severe discomfort when your abdomen stretches due to gas or stool. Poorly coordinated and insufficient signals between the brain and the intestines can be the cause for the body to overreact to changes that occur in the digestive process, leading to pain, diarrhoea and constipation.
Early life stress: People exposed to stressful events, more usually in childhood, tend to experience irritable bowel syndrome.
Changes in gut microbes: Changes in bacteria, fungi and viruses that are typically in the intestines play a crucial role.
Mild celiac disease: damages the intestines, causing IBS symptoms.
More causes include slowed or spastic movements of the colon, causing painful cramping, gut motility, pain sensitivity, infections including small intestinal bacterial growth overgrowth, genetic factors and food sensitivity. Vitamin D deficiency is also common in people who experience irritable bowel syndrome. Genetics play an important role in IBS as people with a family history of this disease are more likely to be affected by it in their life. IBS happens in women more often than men, so researchers believe that hormones may also play a role in this disorder. Some foods also trigger irritable bowel syndrome, such as spicy, fatty, fried foods, carbonated drinks, large meals and too much fibre.
Irritable bowel syndrome is considered to affect around 1 in 5 people in the UK. Most of them are women. People are most likely to get this disorder in their late teens to early 40s. The most common and long term symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include:
• Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating linked to passing a bowel movement
• Changes in the appearance of bowel movement
• Changes in how regularly you have a bowel movement
• frequent diarrhoea and constipation
• Chronic fatigue
Severe symptoms that may lead to life-threatening conditions in the long term include:
• Weight loss
• Rectal bleeding
• Iron deficiency anaemia
• Consistent abdominal pain that isn't relieved by medications or a bowel movement
Symptoms in women are more visible during their time of menstruation. Menopausal women tend to experience fewer symptoms than women who are still menstruating. Women also experience IBS symptoms during pregnancy.
Symptoms in men are mostly the same as in women; however, fewer men tend to report or seek help when they experience symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
IBS does not lead to more severe problems, and it does not cause cancer or inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. If nothing is done, symptoms may continue or come and go.
There is no definitive cure for irritable bowel syndrome. Treatment is more specifically aimed at symptom relief which is mostly done by lifestyle changes as well as home remedies that are first suggested by doctors and then the use of medications if the previous precautions were in vain.
Home remedies and lifestyle changes include :
Regular physical exercise
Avoiding deep-fried and spicy foods
Eating smaller meals at regular intervals
Avoiding caffeinated beverages and alcohol
The doctor may perform the following test to confirm their diagnosis further and treat your disorder accordingly:
• Colonoscopy to look for signs of any blockage or inflammation in your intestines
• Endoscopy to check for heartburn and indigestion
• Stool tests for infections
If you are still experiencing severe symptoms even after home remedies and lifestyle changes, your doctor may prescribe you medications to treat irritable bowel syndrome. In this situation, it is of at most importance to tell your doctor about the herbal remedies and over the counter medications you previously used or are still using as your doctor will prescribe you new medicines accordingly. These medications may include:
• Bulking agents such as psyllium
• Antibiotics such as rifaximin to help treat any bacterial overgrowth in your intestines
• Probiotics to help with digestive problems
• Antispasmodics to control colon muscle spasms
• Linaclotide relieves constipation
• Lubiprostone helps in IBS in women
• Plecanatide increases gastrointestinal fluid
• Antidepressants help relieve symptoms
• Tenapanor increase bowel movement
• Alosetron can help ease stomach pain and slow your bowel to relieve diarrhoea
• Eluxadoline is used to reduce bowel contractions, belly cramps and diarrhoea.
These medications have severe side effects, so it is advised to use them carefully and with a doctor's prescription.
These medications may help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome who is experiencing severe abdominal pain, constipation and infection in the intestines. Still, it is significant to use these medications with a doctor's prescription because they are specific to every person and may not work for a person experiencing different symptoms. Laxatives and other drugs can be habit-forming if they are not used carefully.
Yes! You can quickly and discreetly buy irritable bowel syndrome treatment online through our website.
Relief of IBS symptoms is a slow process. It may take up to six months or more for a more definitive improvement in symptoms. With proper diet and medications, symptoms of IBS can be significantly improved. Patience is required to treat irritable bowel syndrome because this is a long-lasting disorder with irregular symptoms.
Always read your patient information leaflet before starting your treatment.
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