Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Its Significance in Healthcare

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common but uncomfortable gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by the collection of symptoms that include diarrhoea, constipation, cramps, bloating and excess gas

The signs and symptoms of IBS vary in different individuals.
Some are severe while some can be controlled by diet and lifestyle changes.

IBS which can also be called spastic colon or mucous colitis is a chronic condition that involves motility in the digestive system and not the damage of its tract hence it doesn’t make you vulnerable to colon cancer.

Report states that 10-15% of the adult population in The United States of America, and 6-20% of people worldwide has IBS.


Symptoms Of IBS

Symptoms vary in different individuals but the most common symptoms include:

1. Constipation

2. Bloating

3. Diarrhea

4. Abdominal Pain

5. Anxiety and Depression

6. Food Intolerance

7. Fatigue

8. Difficulty Sleeping

9. Weight Loss

10. Changes in Bowel Movement


Types Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS can be categorised into different types. This type of IBS determines the medication and treatment that will be administered to the affected person.
The types of IBS include:

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhoea (IBS-D): People with this type of IBS experience:
– Frequent stools.
– Loose and watery stools and
– Nausea.

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2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-D): People with this type of IBS experience:
– Infrequent stools
– Hard stools and
– Bloating.

3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Mixed Bowel Habits (IBS-M): People with this type of IBS experience both watery and hard bowel movements.


Risk Factors


The following factors might put you at risk of having the syndrome:

1. Gender: Reports shows that Women are more likely to suffer IBS and the therapy carried out before or after Menopause is a risk factor for IBS.

2. Age: People under 50 years of age are more likely to suffer from IBS.

3. Genetics: Having a Family History of IBS can play a role as a factor in which an individual can suffer from the syndrome.

4. Mental Health Issues can also serve as a risk factor.


IBS Triggers

Certain factors trigger the symptoms of IBS. These factors include:

1. FOOD: The symptoms of most people having IBS get worse when they eat certain foods or drink certain beverages. While some foods can help to provide symptoms relief for certain affected people.

Foods that you must avoid or limit if you have IBS include:

1. Alcohol

2. Milk.

3. Fried and Fatty Food.

4. Tea and Coffee

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5. Cheese

6. Beans

7. Wheat

8. Chewing Gum

9. Foods high in Sugar

10. Cabbage and other vegetables that increase gas.

Foods that help relieve IBS symptoms include:

1. Grain Bread

2. Brown Rice

3. Aloe Vera

4. Water

5. Low-fat foods

2. STRESS: Increased stress is another factor that agitates symptoms of IBS.
Emotional Stress can also be a trigger.


Causes Of IBS

The definite cause of IBS is unknown but some factors might play a role in its emergence. They include:

1. Gastroenteritis also called stomach flu can cause IBS.

2. SIBO – Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth.

3. Muscle contractions in the Intestine

4. Dysmotility.

5. Slow or fast movement of the colon.


Diagnosis Of IBS

Tests and Procedures that might be carried out to diagnose IBS symptoms include:

– Upper Endoscopy

– X-ray

– Stool Tests


– Lactose Intolerance Test

Lifestyle Changes That Help Relieve IBS Symptoms

Lifestyle Changes that help relieve IBS symptoms include:

1. Quit Smoking

2. Get Adequate Sleep

3. Avoid Caffeine like tea and coffee

4. Exercise Regularly

5. Reduce Food Intake

6. Drink Plenty of Water

7. Minimize Stress.

8. Use Relaxation Techniques

Treatment Of IBS

Treatment of IBS vary in different individuals and depends on the type of symptoms.

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The Medications used to treat and manage IBS include:

– Anti-diarrheal Medications and Bile Acid Binders such as clonazepam, colestipol and loperamide

– Lotronex (Alosetron)

– Neurontin and Pregabalin are administered to ease the pain.

– Laxatives such as polyethene glycol.

– Antidepressants

– Rifaximin


– Linaclotide (Linzess)

– SSRI antidepressants such as paroxetine.

– Eluxadoline (Viberzi)

– Trulance (plecanatide)

– Anticholinergic Medications such as Bentyl (dicyclomine)

– Lubiprostone (Amitiza)

– Loperamide

– Antispasmodics

– Muscle Relaxants

– Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

– Antimotility Medications.

Aside from medications, other procedures that are also be used to reduce the impact of symptoms in patients include:

– Probiotics: Probiotics are termed “good bacteria” because they help relieve IBS symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Probiotics can also be found in dietary supplements like yoghurt.

– Taking fiber supplements such as Metamucil can help control constipation.

– Hypnotherapy: This is a procedure that helps change the way the patient’s mind responds to IBS’ physical symptoms.
This therapy helps reduce bloating and pain in the abdomen.

– Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy helps patients to generate different ways of reacting to IBS through a positive attitude and relaxation training.

– Acupuncture

– Therapeutic Massage