Irritable bowel syndrome is a very common medical condition that affects the stomach. It has only recently come to light as a proper disease because earlier this problem was just regarded as a normal indigestion problem. But now doctors recognise it as a disease that can cause many uncomfortable problems for a patient.
It can be defined a malfunctioning of the gastrointestinal tract that persists for a long period of time. The problem will be called irritable bowel syndrome only if it is chronic and has caused problems for 3 months or longer. It is a collection of different problems that cause irritation and inflammation in the stomach tract.
More cases of IBS in women have been reported in men without a clear reason. The exact reason for onset of IBS is not known but certain factors do seem to contribute towards it. Allergies to certain foods and substances may be one possibility as they can cause irritation of the throat and stomach. It is also sometimes seen to be a hereditary disorder in families. Mental and physical stress also aggravates the situation by slowing down the digestive process.
Women also have a more acute form of IBS when they are having their periods or are pregnant. This problem is not completely curable but the symptoms can be easily alleviated through the right treatment. It is important to be aware of the signs of IBS in order to give it the right and timely treatment.
Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Here is a list of commonly seen signs and symptoms of IBS.
Pain And Cramps
Most people have mild to severe pain in the abdominal area. They may also have intermittent cramps that are very similar to those felt during diarrhoea.
The pain and cramps do tend to abate after passing stool or gas. The pain tends to be worse right after a meal or at the end of the day.
Irregular Bowel Movements
This is a very common complaint of patients of IBS. Some of them may pass stool more than thrice a day while others may not have a bowel movement for more than two days.
Loose motions and constipation seem to alternate in short periods of times.
Flatulence is a very common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome. The irregular bowel movements slow down the digestion of food which can result in build up of waste matter in the intestines.
This matter festers inside and releases gas. Such gas is expelled via the rectum and is usually very foul smelling in nature.
The build up of gas and waste matter can put pressure on the digestive tract. This results in a feeling of bloating in the stomach. The patient may complain of always feeling full as if a meal has just been eaten.
In very severe cases, there may also be visible bloating in the abdomen which can be seen very clearly. Some people even say that their clothes seem tighter around the waist and hips.