What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Derived from the term syndrome, it is basically a group of conditions that cause one major condition to arise. However, there is no known cause that would explain why irritable bowel syndrome appears mostly among female of middle age or why there is no specific intensity or frequency of attacks experienced among patients.
It is, however, considered a functional disorder wherein no signs of colon impairment is seen during examination but the colon still doesn’t work in the way it should be working. There is no known cause for this syndrome yet and as such, there can’t still be cures for it.
For most people, irritable bowel syndrome is only a mild annoyance. However, for some it is a disabling disorder that would permit them from continuing normal affairs.
Irritable bowel syndrome is frequently characterized with attacks of diarrhea and constipation.
Diarrhea is a condition wherein one has the uncontrollable urge to release bowel. This is often matched with fluid-like stools mixed with mucus.
Constipation, on the other hand, is the condition wherein the patient experiences abdominal cramping with or without the release of painful, and relatively dry stool.
There seems to be a number of various causes that lead to the development of this syndrome. For instance, it seems to be linked with disturbed muscle movement of the intestine or intolerance with stretching of the intestine. There may not be an abnormality on the anatomical features of the intestine though but the cause may be triggered with physiological disturbances.
Common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are:
§ Constipation and diarrhea or alternating of both
§ Crampy stomach or abdomen
§ Abdominal bloating
§ Mucus in the stool
§ Sensation of unfinished bowel
Note though that the frequency and intensity of these symptoms vary from one patient to another. It is therefore important that before taking up medications or before following a treatment plan, you are properly diagnosed by your physician.
There is no fixed data that yields specific number of patients covered under irritable bowel syndrome. This is largely because of unreported incidences that are often not documented. However, sources agree that 1 out of ten hospital visits is related with irritable bowel syndrome. The majority of which are covered by women who are aged 20 years old and above. Nevertheless, irritable bowel syndrome may affect people of any age.
While 1 out of ten hospital visits is covered irritable bowel syndrome, many patients are diagnosed only once the condition aggravates. It is prevalent yet people don’t normally think of it as something that would occupy their daily affairs. Additionally, there is a common notion that it is more of a psychological issue rather than a physical one.
The good thing about irritable bowel syndrome is that it is not subject to developing into more aggravated conditions. This is basically due to the factor that it does not cause inflammation in the intestinal linings, or bleeding, damage to the colon and is not related with cancerous developments.
There are some basic treatments for irritable bowel syndrome yet these are not guarantees of complete cure. In fact, due to the lack of information on this condition, there is still no defined cure for irritable bowel syndrome.
Changes in lifestyle are often recommended and careful intake of foods. It is often suggested that managing stress must be implemented since it has a direct connection with this syndrome.