Individuals suffering from IBS will experience a mix of symptoms such as belly discomfort or pain and trouble with bowel activity (constipation or diarrhea). However, symptoms tend to change over some time. A flare-up may last for several days, weeks, or months at a time, and then either improve or resolve entirely.
Signs and symptoms may vary from individual to individual and at times may resemble symptoms of other disorders and conditions, including:
Dietary factors play a significant role in IBS. Symptoms are likely to worsen after consumption of dairy products, chocolates, or alcohol, thereby causing either constipation or diarrhea. Besides, some fruits and vegetables can cause bloating of the stomach and pains. It is not yet clear whether a food allergy or intolerance triggers IBS.
Mentioned below are some of the most common dietary triggers of abdominal bloating or cramping foods:
Other foods that can contribute to IBS development are:
Individuals can take the following dietary steps to reduce the risk of a flare:
IBS is diagnosed by excluding other gastrointestinal conditions that have result in the occurrence of similar symptoms. An individual is required to undergo a thorough check-up to determine the duration and the severity of symptoms. The duration of the symptoms needs to be monitored before concluding. The symptoms last at least six months and should occur at least three times a month.
A person may have to undergo particular tests, including CT scans, stool tests, or blood tests for proper diagnosis of IBS. There is no specific result on these tests, but other conditions can be diagnosed by performing them if there are any.
Diagnosis of IBS involves two relatively new blood tests, out of which, one is for IBS with both diarrhea and constipation (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Mixed IBS-M), and the other is for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). Besides, either test cannot diagnose irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).
Furthermore, a blood test may help rule out other types of GI diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Individuals with a history of ovarian cancer may need to undergo additional tests, as might people older than 60 years of age with changing bowel habits. Depending upon the severity and symptoms, a doctor may perform an upper endoscopy and/or colonoscopy.
Treating irritable bowel syndrome involves few lifestyle and dietary changes, along with proper stress management. The following steps may help alleviate symptoms:
The following steps may help alleviate or relieve symptoms: