Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a disorder of the digestive system. It is known by other names: mucous colitis, spastic colon, nervous stomach, IBD; however IBS is the more familiar name.

Irritable bowel syndrome affects the function of the bowel, causing spasms and constricted muscles as the body tries to rid itself of waste.  IBS can flair up at anytime; there is no set schedule for this disorder. Irritable bowel syndrome can be affected by what you eat, what you drink what medications you take.

Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the following iIrritable bowel syndrome symptoms please see your doctor:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Headaches/migraines (sudden onset)
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches/joint soreness
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Passing mucus
  • Heartburn
  • Problems with intimacy

These ilrritable bowel syndrome symptoms will occur as you are trying to pass waste. Your body will be fighting to move the food along. Your nervous system is short-circuiting not responding to your muscles efficiently.

You may feel as if you are going to pass out, or that you aren’t quite “done” even though you are. Your muscles respond with major spasms and contractions. Some women liken these spasms to the same as early labor pains. The cramps will subside once the waste has been expelled.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms are not psychosomatic. They are not imaginary or just some way for you to garner sympathy from your loved ones. More women than men suffer from IBS. IBS is not a respecter of age; it can strike at any age.

There is no magic cure for IBS. The cure is knowledge. Research this disease, talk to your doctor. Talk to other people who suffer from IBS. Educate yourself to take you out of the pain and gain control over your body once again.

A person suffering with IBS can experience:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Triggers for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

  • Spicy foods
  • Stress
  • Not enough fiber in the diet
  • Improper diet
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Recreational drug use
  • Abusing laxatives
  • To much caffeine
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Onions, peas and potatoes
  • French fries and onion rings

Irritable bowel syndrome can lead to other health issues, if professional help is not obtained. Diverticulitis, Crohn Disease and Whipple Disease can result in people with irritable bowel syndrome who do not seek medical and dietary assistance.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Is there an Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet?

There are certain foods you should avoid (some previously mentioned) but diet alone will not control the onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Adding fiber- Bran is recommended will help the passage of food through the system and drinking water (and only water) is a plus as well.

Most patients who find themselves afflicted with IBS will also find they are lactose intolerant. Decreasing the amount of dairy food you consume after you have been diagnosed will also help. Milk causes constipation. If you think about it, milk is the only liquid we drink that turns into solid waste. Waste, backed up in the system will trigger the onset of cramping and other signs and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

When you suffer with IBS, you become aware of what foods to eat simply by staying focused on your body’s reaction to food. Foods high in fat that stimulate the GI tract and cause it to go into overtime to try and break it down, such as insoluble fiber, should be avoided. Insoluble fiber is food that passes through the GI tract without being broken down and used by the body. I find that eating any dark green vegetable such as Romaine lettuce, spinach or even Brussel sprouts causes my IBS to flare up almost immediately.

Unable to find a registered Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet and ignoring the hype around the powdered version of this diet, I have managed to control the onset of my IBS by drinking lots of water, exercising daily and eating (dry) Kellogg’s Cracklin Oat Bran cereal everyday.  This diet tailored to my means was discovered after years of experimenting with different types of fiber. I found that Bran (usually recommended for IBS sufferers) was harsh on my system and therefore a food I avoided.

The treatment for IBS should be discussed with your doctor. If you are experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms, see your doctor especially if these symptoms are chronic. Your doctor will perform tests to determine if you do indeed have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

You will be instructed about changing your lifestyle and your habits. You will be encouraged to walk more, eat healthier, drink water, stop smoking or drinking and avoid the trigger foods.  Only in severe cases of IBS will drugs be prescribed. Brochures will be pressed into your hands that will educate you about this disease and make you aware of how to lessen the impact it can have on your health and put you on the path to wellness.



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