Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disease that is estimated to affect 15% of the population in the United States today. There are many IBS symptoms that can help to diagnose the disease, but there currently is no cure. The disease is one that can easily be misdiagnosed and often is mistaken for other diseases it shares its myriad of symptoms with. IBS is often accompanied with several other painful or dehibilitating medical conditions, which can also make its diagnosis a more difficult task. IBS symptoms can be treated in a number of ways and although IBS and IBS symptoms can be painful and inconvenient the disease is not thought to be deadly.
Once a diagnosis has been made, it’s time to take action. Fortunately, this is not a life-threatening illness, and it can be controlled through diet, stress reduction and medicine. Many people find avoiding certain foods and adding fiber to their diet to be helpful. Finding ways to minimize anxiety is also important in successfully managing spastic colon/IBS. Taking charge of your health and well-being will put you on the fast track to feeling better and getting back to an active and happy lifestyle.
The role of diet is very important in the cause and relief of irritable bowel syndrome. Certain foods such as milk can cause diarrhea while others like fruit and soda can cause bloating and abdominal cramping.
IBS sufferers turn to laxatives or other over-the-counter medicines in hopes that the condition is temporary. But IBS is a chronic condition. Improper or excessive use of laxatives can cause further problems for those with IBS, sometimes causing the condition to change from constipation to diarrhea.
Your Doctor may suspect that you have IBS due to your symtoms. There are specific symptoms that a doctor will look for which is called the “Rome Criteria”. Your doctor may order other medical tests to be sure that you don’t have another health problem that causes the same symptoms. To diagnose IBS you may be asked to take some blood tests and a physical exam. Some other tests that may be included are a Lower Gastrointestinal (GI) Series, which x-rays your abdomen to see any problems in the Large Intestine. Another test is a Colonoscopy, which is when the doctor inserts a tiny camera into your colon to take pictures to see if there are any problems there.
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