What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
People who encounter the term “irritable bowel syndrome” are often confused as to what that illness is. Many wonder about the various symptoms associated with the term. What is irritable bowel syndrome? In order to properly understand this illness, a person should learn about these factors:
1. Symptoms –
These are the common manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome in human beings. In a sense, the symptoms tell what irritable bowel syndrome is by telling you how it affects your body. In the past, it was actually quite difficult to answer the question of “what is irritable bowel syndrome?” by looking at the symptoms.
You see, irritable bowel syndrome is not really a disease. It is a “syndrome” mainly because it is a group of symptoms.
This is because some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome contradict each other. For instance, some people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome experience diarrhea while some people experience constipation.
2. Causes –
As said before, irritable bowel syndrome is not a disease. It is actually a disorder. It is important to know this in order to understand what irritable bowel syndrome is. Many people misunderstand irritable bowel syndrome because they do not really understand its causes. Some people may think that irritable bowel syndrome is caused by eating some sort of food that does not agree with one’s digestion. Others may think that irritable bowel syndrome is caused by a virus or bacteria of some sort.
However, one thing you need to understand about irritable bowel syndrome is the fact that it is not really “caused” by anything. Irritable bowel syndrome is a state in which your bowels do not function properly. This condition then leads to the various symptoms that people experience.
3. Triggers –
In order to truly know what irritable bowel syndrome is, people should be able to understand the different things that trigger its symptoms. There are two main triggers of irritable bowel syndrome:
- Stress – Studies have shown that stress can have a huge impact on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, the stress caused by knowing that a person has irritable bowel syndrome can trigger that person’s symptoms. This is the reason why counseling is part of the treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.This is also the reason why people today turn to alternative therapies for their treatment. Some people take up yoga or go through the process of acupuncture to help them relieve stress.
- Food – Eating the wrong type of food can definitely trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Foods that have a high fat content should be avoided by people with IBS. Alcohol should also be avoided as it is a known trigger of the symptoms of IBS.
- Treatments– Knowing what irritable bowel disease is also involves knowing about the various treatments that are used to relieve the symptoms of it. There are various drugs that are in use today to help stop one or more of its symptoms. However, since irritable bowel syndrome is not a disease, it is also incurable.
What a person suffering from this illness can do is to try to keep the symptoms at bay by using different treatments like specialized diets and relaxation technique By keeping these various factors in mind, a person can answer the question of “what is irritable bowel syndrome”?
Changing The Way You Eat Foods
Changing the way you eat foods for IBS is one way to control your symptoms. As your symptoms change so should the foods you eat. IBS symptoms include flatulence, bloating, nausea, diarrhea and constipation and pain.
Avoiding the types of food that stimulate your intestines is recommended. Things like salad, cabbage, baked beans, broccoli, cucumbers, radishes all produce gas and can contribute to bouts of IBS and diarrhea.
When you are having an IBS flare, the best thing you can do for yourself is eat bland foods until the worst of it passes. Try what is called a BRATY diet for a day or two. A BRATY diet consists of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast, and Yogurt. As you can see the first letter of each word forms the name of the diet. Of course, not everyone will respond favorably to the BRATY diet just as some foods react in the intestines differently for everyone.
Other foods for IBS that will help calm your digestive system are regular black tea, peppermint candies and ginger ale. Drinking extra fluids to replenish what you are losing because of the diarrhea is very important. You cannot afford to become dehydrated on top of everything else you are dealing with. If dehydration happens, you will be very ill and you may just land yourself in the hospital.
Fried, greasy foods and other foods high in fat should be avoided as well. Try your chicken or fish baked, broiled or grilled and if you should eat some red meat just make sure you trim all the fat off before you cook it. Instead of french fries fried in oil, opt for a baked potato with your meal or “fry” your french fries in the oven. Without oil, of course, try spraying them with a nonstick cooking spray flavored with butter before putting them in the oven. This will help them get nice and crispy.
Learning what to eat and when to eat it can play a significant role in completely controlling your IBS. Your diet alone can make a huge difference in how you are able to live your life. You can be happy and live life to its fullest. The more you learn about the right kind of diet to eat to control your IBS the more you will understand you will not have to deprive yourself of the things you like, you will still be able to go out to your favorite restaurant.
You will learn how to eat safely and you will become an expert on how food affects your digestive system. In doing your research you will find books and websites to help you modify your diet and come up with specific strategies to follow regarding how to eat and cook and how to handle going out to eat or going to the market to shop. You may even find recipes to help you get started on learning how to cook for your disorder.
Protein-rich foods that are good for IBS such as:
- Poultry (chicken or turkey)
- UltraNourish (the super food shake contains 16g of pea protein) and
- Dairy are excellent for reducing your symptoms of IBS.
Some Things You Need to Know About Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome often comes with a stigma. Although it is a natural process of the body, people are sort of squeamish about any type of syndrome that involves the bowels. This is probably the reason why people with irritable bowel syndrome rarely go to consult a physician. Some would just prefer to go online and try to solve their problems by consulting anonymously with other people.
This can be an effective method for dealing with some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, it is highly recommended that people with this illness should consult a physician in order to ensure their proper treatment.
What are the causes of irritable bowel syndrome? Technically, the causes of irritable bowel syndrome are still unknown. Irritable bowel syndrome is considered as a functional disorder. This means that although there is nothing wrong with the physiology of your intestine, it does not function the way it is supposed to. Although it has no known causes, the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be triggered by different factors.
One of the main factors that trigger irritable bowel syndrome is stress. It is often said that irritable bowel syndrome is a psychosomatic disease. This means that the mind has a lot to do with how the syndrome affects the body. The connection between stress and digestion is no mystery to people with heartburn or hyper acidity. Stress often causes an overproduction peptic acid in the stomach. This is the reason why people under severe stress at work such as executives often develop hyper acidity.
Practically the same thing happens with irritable bowel syndrome. Stress triggers a chemical reaction within the digestive system. This, of course, can trigger symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
Another factor that affects the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is food. Different types of food can have varying effects on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Some could be beneficial and could help relieve the symptoms of the illness. Others can only make the symptoms much worse.
People with irritable bowel syndrome can classify food into three different categories:
- It doesn’t affect the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- It triggers symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Unsure (Sometimes it benefits, but sometimes it triggers symptoms)
It is important to consult with an expert in order to find out which foods you can consume without worrying. An expert can help you pick out which foods would be beneficial to your case of irritable bowel syndrome.
There are various types of treatments of irritable bowel syndrome. One treatment, as implied earlier is adhering to a diet. There are also medicines available today that could reduce the symptoms experienced by a person with this illness.
Another type of treatment that people turn to is alternative healing. People who want to relieve the different symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome often turn to alternative types of medicine because they may feel that it is more effective than common medicines used today. An example of alternative medicine is acupuncture.
People who want to relieve the abdominal pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome often turn to acupuncture to relieve the pain. This is because acupuncture triggers certain nerves in order to numb some types of pain in the body. It also clears the passage of Qi through your body and promotes a balance of your energy.
As always, any Q’s feel free to leave in the comments box below. Will be back ASAP to answer all questions on this article.