Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cramping, Constipation, Bloating, Diarrhea Oh My!

Do the symptoms in the title of this post hit home for you? If so, you may be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, commonly abbreviated IBS.

What Causes IBS?

The exact cause of IBS is not known. However, in individuals with IBS, the nerves and muscles of the bowel are extremely sensitive. For example, upon eating the muscles often contract to a larger degree than normal, thus causing the cramping and/or diarrhea either during or shortly after meals.

What are the main symptoms?

The most common symptoms of IBS include an abdominal pain/discomfort which either goes away or occurs during a bowel movement, and chronic diarrhea and/or constipation that is constantly present. Individuals also often feel bloated, and experience frequent gas and cramping.

How Can I Treat IBS?

Treatment plans vary from person to person. It is best to consult with your physician to find the treatment method best for you. Symptoms are often relieved through diet modification, lowering stress, and the use of prescription medications.

Need more information?

Visit http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/index.aspx