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How to Deal With IBS Symptoms

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Triggers

IBS is caused by the imbalance of gas in the intestines. This gas builds up in the colon and causes bloating and cramping. There are many food triggers for IBS. Keeping a food diary can help determine your most sensitive foods. Some common triggers include beans, lentils, and Brussels sprouts. Avoid them for 12 weeks to see if your symptoms go away.

Other common IBS triggers include feeling depressed or anxious, which can also worsen symptoms. In addition, these emotions can weaken the immune system, triggering an IBS attack. Fortunately, some medications, such as antidepressants or talk therapy, can help manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Treatments

IBS is a disorder that causes a person’s digestive system to malfunction. People with this syndrome experience alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation. Symptoms of this disorder are often difficult to distinguish from other gastrointestinal conditions, and getting a proper diagnosis without an invasive procedure can be challenging. Fortunately, there are some treatment options available.

Dietitians can help patients identify their triggers and create a diet that reduces their symptoms. In some cases, they may prescribe a low-FODMAPs diet to help people with IBS avoid fermentable, poorly absorbed sugars that can trigger symptoms. Other treatment options include physiotherapy for pelvic floor dysfunction, hypnotherapy, and relaxation exercises.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of IBS begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination. Some diagnostic tests may be ordered to rule out other problems. One of these is a sigmoidoscopy, which allows the doctor to view the colon from the inside. The doctor will insert a flexible tube with a camera into the anus, where images of the colon are transferred to a large screen.

IBS is characterized by abdominal pain, which usually occurs recurrently and at least once weekly. The pain must also be associated with defecation or a change in the appearance or frequency of the stool. If all these criteria are met, the diagnosis is made. Nonetheless, the diagnosis of IBS is still challenging due to the overlap of symptoms with other disorders, such as organic disease.

Diet

There is no one-size-fits-all diet or medicine for people with IBS, but several approaches can help people feel better. First, consult your physician for advice and guidance. Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian or suggest other treatments. Often, a combination of these approaches is the best course of action.

Many people with IBS use a low-FODMAP diet to improve symptoms. This form of elimination diet focuses on removing foods high in FODMAPs. By eliminating these foods from the diet, you will reduce pain and bloating caused by high-FODMAP intake. However, this cannot be easy because many commonly consumed foods are high in FODMAPs.

Stress management

If you want to find relief from the symptoms of IBS, you should learn how to manage stress. The body produces cortisol to respond to stress, a fight-or-flight response hormone. In addition, research has found that people with IBS suffer more from gastrointestinal symptoms when stressed.

One of the best ways to manage stress is to practice a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and eat nutritious foods. You can also make small changes to your daily routine, such as leaving earlier to avoid traffic jams. You can also discuss your symptoms with your doctor and treatment options, such as medication.

While the symptoms of IBS are not life-threatening, they can be debilitating, especially if not treated. Unfortunately, people often ignore the symptoms of IBS, but managing stress is essential for long-term quality of life.

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