Irritable Bowel Syndrome
At least 20% of all Americans have IBS.
It is the most common gastrointestinal complaint.
80% of sufferers are women and it usually makes it’s appearance in a person’s late teens to early 20’s.
This issue accounts for 10% of all doctor’s visits and over 50% of all gastroenterologist referrals.
What is even more shocking is the vast majority of sufferers never seek medical help; they just try to learn to live with it.
Irritable bowel syndrome has gone by many names in the past: spastic colon, spastic bowel, colitis and functional bowel disease.
While IBS does not change the structure of the bowel it can significantly effects the lifestyle of the suffer.
For those with IBS the interaction between the brain and the gut is just not working properly.
IBS sufferers have a colon that reacts to stimuli that never affect the normal person's colon. That unusual reaction is also much more severe.
If you are suffering from this condition chances are you probably know where every bathroom is in all places that you frequent.
Many people create their schedules around their bathroom needs.
Some find that early morning appointments are just too risky and therefore schedule everything for later in the day.
So what are the symptoms of IBS?
*Abdominal pain and spasms
*Bloating and gas
* Diarrhea alternating with constipation is most common but many have just one or the other.
* Stool is too hard or too soft.
* Going the bathroom more than three times a day or less than three times a week.
*Symptoms increase after eating, at times of stress and during menstruation.
* Mucus in your stool.
*Symptoms are greatly relieved after going to the bathroom.
*If you are bleeding, have a fever or are anemic these are not symptoms of IBS.
There is not a single cause of IBS, each person is different and has a different combination of factors.
Here are a few of the factors that can get the IBS ball rolling:
*25% of IBS cases are infection related.
The bowel gets inflamed and then gets into the pattern of being over sensitive.
* Food sensitivities and intolerances are issues in 2/3 of all IBS sufferers.
IBS is more common in for those from family with allergies and sensitivities.
The most common offending foods are wheat, corn, dairy, coffee, citrus and chocolate.
* Hormonal imbalances, many women have flare-ups during menstruation.
* Environmental sensitivities
*Flora imbalances due to Candida and the taking of antibiotics.
* Mind-body interaction
You are more likely to have IBS if you have issues with anxiety or depression.
The key to taking control of your condition is to narrow down what factors are affecting you.
You are the only one that can manage and remedy your IBS.
You will have to make some changes in your life and probably some of those will be major but a life without IBS is worth it.
In our next two issues we will discuss the steps that you can take to re-gain control of your life.
Coming up in February I will be offering an IBS teleseries workshop.
Look for more info next issue!
and always remember....
You Deserve to be Healthy!
I am a digestive health coach. I help my clients have more energy and a eliminate digestive problems by eating food they love!