What Are Ibs Symptoms
- Excess gas.
- Mucus in your poop .
Women with IBS may find that symptoms flare up during their periods. These symptoms often happen again and again, which can make you feel stressed or upset. As you learn management techniques and gain control over flare-ups, youll start to feel better, physically and mentally.
What Causes Spastic Colon
Although no one knows for sure why some people end up with IBS, there is now much more information as to what might have gone wrong. Here are some problems that have been identified as possible causes:
- Motility problems: The functioning of the large intestine muscles, including the speed and strength of gut contractions
- Visceral hypersensitivity: A stronger-than-normal pain response to pressure within the large intestine
- The brain-gut connection: The role of the nervous system, including changes in the levels of neurotransmitters and hormones
- Inflammation: Although by definition, there is no visible inflammation with IBS, there are indications that there may be inflammation that is not visible
- Gut bacteria: An imbalance between “friendly” and “unfriendly” bacteria that make up the gut flora
One of the reasons why IBS is so tricky to understand and treat is that it may be caused by several different factors. You can see that researchers have come a long way from pointing to spasms in the gut as being the problem.
Ibs Causes And Risk Factors
While several things are known to trigger IBS symptoms, experts don’t know what causes the condition. IBS affects between 25 million and 45 million Americans. Most of them are women. People are most likely to get the condition in their late teens to early 40s.
Studies suggest that the colon gets hypersensitive, overreacting to mild stimulation. Instead of slow, rhythmic muscle movements, the bowel muscles spasm. That can cause diarrhea or constipation.
Some think that IBS happens when the muscles in the bowels don’t squeeze normally, which affects the movement of stool. But studies donât seem to back this up.
Another theory suggests it may involve chemicals made by the body, such as serotonin and gastrin, that control nerve signals between the brain and digestive tract.
Other researchers are studying to see if certain bacteria in the bowels can lead to the condition.
Because IBS happens in women much more often than in men, some believe hormones may play a role. So far, studies havenât borne this out.
A small study published in January 2021 suggests that a GI tract infection, such as food poisoning, can change the immune system so that it responds to certain foods as if they’re a threat, like germs or viruses. Researchers are looking into these early findings.
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Spastic Colon On Ibs Tales
A number of sufferers who have sent in their stories to IBS Tales mention the term spastic colon, and you can tell from their stories that it is a term that is now dying out. Ann says that her mum used to call her symptoms spastic colon, and another sufferer says he was diagnosed 30 years ago, when no-one had a clue about IBS and used to call it spastic colon or nervous stomach.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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Is There A Specific Diet Plan For A Person With Ibs
Diet and lifestyle changes are important in decreasing the frequency and severity of IBS symptoms.
The first thing your doctor may suggest is to keep a food diary. This will help you figure out foods that trigger your symptoms.
- Limit foods that contain ingredients that can stimulate the intestines and cause diarrhea, such as:
- Foods high in sugar
- Artificial sweeteners
Is There A Connection Between Ibs And Colitis
Colitis is defined as inflammation in the large intestine. It can be caused by many things, including:
- Autoimmune disease
- Lack of blood supply
- Other serious conditions
Colitis can result in symptoms that are similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome . This raises the question: Is there an overlap or connection between IBS and colitis?
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When To See A Doctor
If a person is experiencing symptoms of colon spasms, it is important that they see a doctor to determine the cause. They can then receive proper medical care. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease often require ongoing treatment.
Some viruses, such as norovirus, can cause colon spasms that go away when the person recovers from the illness. These types of illnesses usually last for around 13 days . If a person has symptoms that last longer than this, they should speak to a doctor.
Also, a person should seek medical care if their symptoms are severe and accompanied by any of the following:
- swelling of the stomach
What Causes Ibs Vs Ibd
Although some patients may show microscopic areas of inflammation in IBS, the causes are speculative and may include hyperreactivity to bacterial gut infections, accelerated or delayed transit of contents through the GI tract , and abnormal bowel contractions caused by triggers such as foods or stress.
The exact cause of IBD is not known. Researchers suggest the IBD types are caused by an immune system malfunction in the bowel tissue, with a genetic predisposition to develop IBD, and the individuals response to gut microorganisms.
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What Treatments Are Used For Ibs
Treatment includes changes in diet, changes in behavior and stress management and use of certain medications. The amount of fiber consumed, food intolerance and other dietary facts often play a role in IBS. The addition of fiber to the diet will often help constipation and alternating constipation-diarrhea forms of IBS. When the person only has diarrhea, fiber should be added even more gradually to the diet. The colon acts in a more coordinated fashion and requires less forceful contractions to move along the stool, which has more bulk that the fiber helps provide. It may take several weeks to see the benefit and there will be an initial accommodation to extra gas and flatulence that will generally be a side effect of the fiber. An example of a high fiber diet would be one that includes high fiber cereal, whole grain bread, 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit each day. Everyones colon has its own dose of fiber to make it work well so there will be some experimentation required.
A recent article showed that excess gas and symptoms of IBS may be caused by overgrowth of certain bacteria within the small intestine . The test for this condition is a hydrogen breath test.
To see our latest research article,
Dietary And Lifestyle Modifications
The bowel responds to how and when a person eats, so it is important to eat regular, well-balanced, moderately sized meals rather than erratic, variable meals. Occasionally, IBS symptoms improve by allowing sufficient time for regular eating and bathroom routines. In addition, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and getting a moderate amount of exercise can help reduce symptoms.
Some individuals report that dietary fats and the food additive monosodium glutamate trigger symptoms. Some find symptoms worsen when consuming large quantities of liquids with meals. Others find that cooking vegetables and fruits lessens IBS symptoms, compared to when eating them raw. Those with IBS might need to avoid or decrease consumption of GI stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, particularly if the predominant symptom is diarrhea.
Having IBS does not necessarily mean you produce more gas, but your intestines might be highly sensitive to the passage of gas. Reducing the ingestion of air, which is the major source of intestinal gas, and avoiding large quantities of gas-producing foods can help. To decrease swallowed air, avoid chewing gum, gulping food, drinking carbonated beverages, washing food down with liquids, and sipping hot drinks. Poor-fitting dentures, a chronic postnasal discharge, chronic pain, anxiety, or tension may also contribute to increased air swallowing.
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What Does The Colon Do
The colon, which is about 5 feet long, connects the small intestine with the rectum and anus. The major function of the colon is to absorb water, nutrients, and salts from the partially digested food that enters from the small intestine. Two pints of liquid matter enter the colon from the small intestine each day. Stool volume is a third of a pint. The difference in volume represents what the colon absorbs each day.
Colon motility is controlled by nerves and hormones and by electrical activity in the colon muscle.
Contractions move the contents slowly back and forth but mainly toward the rectum. During this passage, water and nutrients are absorbed into the body. What remains is stool. A few times each day, strong muscle contractions move down the colon, pushing the stool ahead of them. Some of these strong contractions result in a bowel movement.
The muscles of the pelvis and anal sphincters have to relax at the right time to allow the stool to be expelled. If the muscles of the colon, sphincters, and pelvis do not contract in a coordinated way, the contents do not move smoothly, resulting in abdominal pain, cramps, constipation or diarrhea, and a sense of incomplete stool movement.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
Sometimes people with IBS have a crampy urge to move their bowels but cannot do so, or they pass mucus with their bowel movements.
Who Is More Likely To Develop Ibs
Women are up to two times more likely than men to develop IBS.1 People younger than age 50 are more likely to develop IBS than people older than age 50.2
Factors that can increase your chance of having IBS include:
- having a family member with IBS
- a history of stressful or difficult life events, such as abuse, in childhood
- having a severe infection in your digestive tract
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How Can I Control Ibs
It may be frustrating trying to get a handle on IBS. Treatment can often be trial and error. But the good news is that nearly everyone with IBS can find a treatment that helps them.
Usually, diet and activity changes improve symptoms over time. You may need some patience as you figure out your triggers so you can take steps to avoid them. But after a few weeks or months, you should notice significant improvement in how you feel. A nutritionist can help you plan a healthy, filling diet that meets your needs.
Which Specialties Of Doctors Treats Ibs
Irritable bowel syndrome may initially be diagnosed by your primary care provider such as your family doctor, internist, or family medicine specialist. A gastroenterologist usually will provide further treatment. An emergency medicine specialist may be seen if you have an acute flare-up of IBS symptoms and go to a hospital emergency room.
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What The Names Mean
Spastic is a word for the spasms or clenching of your bowels, it can also be another word for belly cramps. That has always been one of the most painful parts of IBS for me. It doesnt really describe the diarrhea or constipation that are part of the full IBS syndrome. Mucous Colitis basically means a sick, painful colon with mucous. The mucous is your bowels defense against whatever is irritating it. Nervous stomach and intestinal neurosis both refer to how anxiety and stress can trigger IBS problems. Reducing stress and anxiety can really help with IBS symptoms.
Difference Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome And Colon Cancer Diagnosis
IBS doesnt cause any obvious detectable abnormalities in the digestive system, so there are no specific tests for the condition. Diagnosis is normally made through careful consideration of symptoms. A doctor will assess how long you have had symptoms and how severe those symptoms have been. The location of your pain will also be taken into account.
A diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome will be considered if you have the typical symptoms and if you feel your stomach pain or discomfort either relieved by passing stools or linked to the need to go to the toilet frequently, or if you notice a change in the consistency of your stools. In most cases, bloating, hardness, or tension in the stomach, passing mucus, and aggravation of the symptoms after you eat will also steer a doctor more towards an IBS diagnosis.
Often times, IBS diagnosis is a case of ruling out other conditions, such as infection, celiac disease, and perhaps cancers.
Finding colon cancer at its earliest stage provides the greatest chance for a cure. People who are at an average risk of colon cancer are encouraged to consider screening at age 50. Those at increased risk should do it before 50. Screening options include using a scope to examine the inside of the colon, biopsy analysis, blood tests to check overall organ function or to test for chemicals that are sometimes produced by colon cancer.
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What Is The Role Of Stress And What Is Visceral Hypersensitivity
Stress is a major factor that plays a significant role in many patients who have IBS. Some people react to stress by getting tension headaches. People with IBS often get tension and pain in the abdomen in response to stress, anxiety and depression. People who are prone to IBS are affected by many stimuli to various levels of the nervous system. An overly sensitive neurological sensory system is a major component that contributes to IBS – this is often referred to as visceral hypersensitivity. This system is susceptible to the effect of stress.
Before Diagnosing Yourself With Ibs
Self-diagnosis is always a bad idea. If you believe that you’re suffering from IBS, check with your doctor. There are several harmless and harmful diseases that cause many of the same symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and only a doctor can rule out these conditions.
Also, many of the symptoms of IBS are also seen in those with intolerance to certain types of foods. It may be in your best interests to investigate your food intolerances. Make sure that you’re not sensitive to foods with gluten, certain grains, dairy products, etc. – all of these create the same types of symptoms as IBS, but represent a very different cause and treatment.
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What Is Abnormal In People With Ibs
Patients with IBS have an abnormal electrical system of their colon with a higher electrical cycling activity and are set up to be more contractile under various stimuli. Intense prolonged, spastic contractions of the colon occur in IBS. When two parts of the colon go into contraction, the colon in between becomes stretched out like a balloon. As a result the abdomen will feel bloated or distended. The sensory or pain nerve fibers get stimulated when there is a stretching of the colon wall. The brain perceives this as pain. The brain actually communicates with the gut through a complex series of nerves that is called the Brain-Gut connection. These connections are abnormal in IBS and the location can be in either the brain or the gut. Stress, depression and various chemical imbalances can affect the Brain-Gut connection. The nerves and muscles of the intestine that are abnormal in IBS may be affected directly by specific food that is eaten. Some researchers feel that a viral infection is responsible for a long-lasting disturbance of the Brain-Gut system. It is also possible that this disturbance is inherited or occurs as the fetus develops in the uterus.
There may be different levels of the Brain-Gut connection that are affected and result in a similar set of symptoms in people labeled with IBS. A combination of the abnormal Brain-Gut system, visceral hypersensitivity and hyperactive intestines appear to be responsible for IBS.
Where Does The Pain Occur In Ibs Vs Ibd
Abdominal pain in IBS may be spread over a wide area of the abdomen, but it can localize in the lower left area of it. The pain may intensify while eating meals, when gas is present in the GI tract, and from abdominal bloating. A bowel movement may reduce the pain.
Abdominal pain in IBD may occur anywhere in the abdomen, and its location may suggest the type of IBD that you may have .
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Are There Different Types Of Ibs
IBS is grouped into three subtypes, based on whether symptoms of diarrhea or constipation predominate. These are:
- IBS with diarrhea : Stools are loose and watery, and bowel movements that occur more frequently.
- IBS with constipation : Stools are hard and lumpy, and rarely loose or watery. Stools may be infrequent and hard to pass.
- IBS with mixed bowel habits : Alternating patterns of diarrhea and constipation occur, and stools may hard or watery.
Spasming of the colon is most commonly associated with IBS-D.