Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a widespread condition that affects up to 18 percent of people worldwide. This condition causes pelvic pain and can change the frequency of bowel movements. Irritable bowel syndrome can decrease the quality of your life and interfere with day-to-day activities. Things like poor diet, chronic stress, and poor sleep regimen can make you more susceptible to this illness. 

Keep reading to discover 8 signs that may indicate you have irritable bowel syndrome. 

1. Gas and bloating

Because irritable bowel syndrome worsens your digestion it can result in gas and bloating. Bloating is one of the primary and most persistent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. About 85 percent of patients develop this issue. Along with bloating you may experience pelvic cramps and pain. It is recommended to avoid foods that contain lactose to prevent gas formation and bloating. 

2. Depression

Stress caused by irritable bowel syndrome can make you more susceptible to psychological difficulties. At the same time, depression can increase your risk of irritable bowel syndrome causing a vicious cycle. People with this condition often have higher levels of cortisol. This can raise your risk of other health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor concentration. 

Managing your cortisol and stress levels can help decrease the severity of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. 

3. Pain and cramps

The most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are pain and cramps. Hormones, nerves, and gut bacteria in your body help your brain and gut work together to control digestion. Irritable bowel syndrome can interfere with this connection. This can lead to uncontrolled tension in the pelvic floor muscles. The discomfort usually develops in the lower abdomen or the entire abdomen. 

The doctor may suggest lifestyle changes or bowel relaxants decrease the discomfort. If the pain still persists, a specialist may help you find pain relievers specified to ease irritable bowel syndrome pain.

4. Sleeping issues

More than 50 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome experience sleep problems. This can decrease your performance at work, interfere with leisure, and social interactions. The most common sleep issue associated with irritable bowel syndrome is insomnia. It can make it difficult for you to fall or stay asleep. Lack of adequate sleep, in turn, aggravates the gastrointestinal symptoms the following day. 

5. Changes in bowel movements

Irritable bowel movement often results in changes in bowel movements. This can be both a slow-moving stool and prompt stool movements. During slow bowel movements, your bowel absorbs too much fluid from the stool. This can aggravate symptoms of constipation and increase your risk of another unpleasant condition like hemorrhoids. 

Fast bowel movements make stool pass your bowel too fast. This leaves too little time for your bowel to absorb enough water. This can leave you dehydrated and increase the risk of overheating low blood volume, and muscle cramps. 

6. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is an issue that affects most patients with irritable bowel syndrome. People with this issue may have up to 12 bowel movements in a week. Irritable bowel syndrome may also result in an immediate urge to have a bowel movement. This can decrease the quality of your life because it is a significant source of stress. Besides, diarrhea is a major risk factor for dehydration. This can cause additional health problems. 

7. Constipation

While irritable bowel syndrome often causes diarrhea, it also may result in constipation. It affects nearly half of adult patients. Poor connection between your brain and gut can slow down bowel movements. When bowel movements become slower, the bowel absorbs more water from stool making it more difficult to pass. This can make you have less than 3 bowel movements in a week. 

Constipation can cause pelvic pain that eases with bowel movements. Due to a feeling of incomplete bowel movement, you can put an unnecessary strain on your rectum. If you experience chronic constipation, the doctor may recommend increasing the intake of water, soluble fiber, and probiotics. 

8. Food intolerance

Most people with irritable bowel syndrome have an intolerance to certain foods. These products can aggravate the symptoms and cause intense discomfort. If you have irritable bowel syndrome you may be required to exclude multiple food groups from your diet. 

It isn’t clear why exactly certain foods trigger symptoms because they don’t cause noticeable differences in indigestion. These foods are different for everyone, so you need to take a check which ones are your triggers.  

The bottom line

If you suspect you have irritable bowel syndrome it is essential to visit a physician to get it checked. If you have this condition, the doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and medication relieve symptoms. It is also crucial to identify which products aggravate your symptoms. Consider keeping a journal of foods and symptoms to help your doctor diagnose and control the condition.