The month of April is designated as IBS Awareness Month to increase public awareness about this condition and support those struggling with it. Do you know IBS affects up to 10 per cent of the world’s population? Yes, that’s true. If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are one of the millions of people living with this condition. Despite the high prevalence of IBS, many patients go untreated and are unaware that their symptoms point to a medically recognized condition. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a medical illness with a wide range of symptoms, several trigger factors, and treatment choices ranging from lifestyle modifications to pharmaceuticals.
In an exclusive interaction with TheHealthSite, Dr Deepak Kumar Gupta, HOD – Gastroenterology, Consultant Gastroenterologist Hepatologist and Therapeutic, tells us all about irritable bowel syndrome, including causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Understand Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a medical ailment that causes intestinal pain. IBS, not to be confused with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), also involves digestive symptoms along with pain that may occur concurrently. It frequently stays untreated for years and only becomes a problem when the symptoms are no longer manageable.
IBS has been linked to intestinal damage in certain situations. Some people have severe symptoms, while others have moderate ones. According to data, over 7.5 per cent of Indians suffer from IBS. However, just 30 per cent of these people get therapy for irritable bowel syndrome.
Know how irritable bowel syndrome is diagnosed
If you’ve been suffering from IBS symptoms, you should seek the advice of a gastroenterologist near you. Doctors can establish whether your symptoms are due to irritable bowel syndrome or something else. They will ask you a few questions before your physical exam to learn about your symptoms and review your medical history.
In some cases, we may request a blood test or a stool sample to rule out conditions that might be misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome.
Common IBS symptoms include:
The urgency of the bowel/ feeling of incomplete evacuation
Stools that are too loose
Discomfort in the stomach
If we discover that you have IBS, our GI experts will be able to select the best irritable bowel syndrome treatment for you.
Why is the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Despite the specific aetiology of IBS having yet to be determined, a few ideas have emerged. A few studies imply that irritable bowel syndrome is induced by the colon’s responsiveness to a stimulus such as a food item (milk products, wheat, milk, nuts).
According to research, an individual may get IBS if their gut muscles are weak or do not work at the needed capacity. Additional research suggests that stress, the release of hormones like serotonin and gastrin, or particular types of bacteria might cause IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome prevention techniques you ought to know
The following are some general tips for relieving irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Just eat homemade dishes created using fresh ingredients.
Avoid meals that are greasy, hot, or processed.
Keep track of your dietary supplements and attempt to avoid things that can trigger IBS by correlating the symptoms you may have with the food you eat.
Try not to miss or postpone any meals.
Adopt healthy lifestyle changes and incorporate lots of meditation or other relaxation and fitness exercises in your daily routine
Eating at least three servings (80g) of fresh fruit each day.
Limit intake of coffee and tea to a maximum of three cups of tea per day.
Do not try to eat too soon.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and fizzy drinks.
Irritable bowel syndrome treatment focuses on symptom relief so that you can live as normally as possible. Some people can manage their symptoms by controlling their food, lifestyle, and stress. Medication and psychotherapy might be used to address more severe symptoms. Contact your doctor to learn more about controlling IBS and having a healthy lifestyle.
This year, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder (IFFGD) is celebrating IBS Awareness Month with the theme “During this time, we join patients, family members, and caregivers to increase public awareness about IBS and help destigmatize the different types of IBS.”