Generally defined in layman’s terms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition in which the large intestine is not operating the way that it should. Medically IBS is not referred to as a disease, rather a disorder or more specifically a syndrome.
The specific cause of this condition in which the large intestine is not operating properly is not yet known.
Through testing, IBS sufferers will show no signs of abnormality or intestinal damage and as such diagnosis of IBS is done via criteria being met as opposed the tangible evidence being observed. Again, this is why there has been no definitive reason uncovered for the precise cause of irritable bowel syndrome.
Among the common symptoms of IBS, includes pain or discomfort (lower abdominal pain and cramping) associated with a change in the frequency of bowel movements, pain or discomfort is relieved with the onset of a bowel movement, the pain and discomfort is associated with the consistency of the stool, straining during a bowel movement, a sense of urgency in the timing of the bowel movement, and a feeling of bloating or fullness in the abdominal area.
If you do suffer from irritable bowel, you may find that your intestines may react more intensely to factors such as stress and diet. For instance, certain foods that don’t bother the rest of your family or friends may set off a series of contractions or cramps within your body.
IBS is a very common disorder for Americans. Approximately 1 out of every 5 people suffers from some degree of irritable bowel symptom. The severity of IBS encompasses a very wide range and degree. On the more severe end of the spectrum, IBS can become almost personally debilitating due to the pain and/or the constant personal interruptions throughout the day.
If you begin to suffer from any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should seek a consultation with your physician and not attempt any self diagnosis, because with IBS since there are no visible or test-able abnormalities; your doctor will diagnose by ruling out other possible (and more serious) intestinal or gastrological afflictions. As such your doctor will most likely perform a series of tests to help insure the accuracy of the diagnosis.
Talk with your doctor about the diagnostic process and what to expect, and if diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome; talk about the various methods and strategies of coping with this disorder.
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