Think you might be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects between 10-15% of the general population at any given time, causing abdominal pain and discomfort.
The best way of combating Irritable Bowel Syndrome is through education and dietary and lifestyle changes. So what do you need to know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome? What causes it, and who is at risk?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is classed as a functional condition, meaning it has to do with the functioning of your body rather than the existence of a foreign invader such as bacteria. Though the direct causes of the illness in any given individual isn't known, it's believed that the root of the condition is in a communication break down between the intestinal track, the brain and the nervous system, which causes the bowels to function erratically.
Sufferers experience irregular defecation, constipation followed by diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps and discomfort. The condition can often be triggered by emotional or physical trauma, such as surgery, pregnancy, prolonged illness or stress at work or home.
Once contracted, sufferers can work to alleviate symptoms by making lifestyle and dietary changes. An increase in fibre in the diet often helps, as does a focus on a nutritionally balanced diet. Because of the psychological link, sufferers may want to try and identify areas of their lives that are currently acting as sources of stress or unhappiness. If IBS continues for a prolonged period of time, sufferers may wish to seek counselling, or take up forms of exercise, such as yoga, that promote relaxation. If you believe you may be suffering from IBS, it's important to visit your doctor immediately for a diagnosis that will eliminate other more serious illnesses.