IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal condition worldwide, yet it’s a condition that’s often misunderstood. IBS is a long-term condition that is complex and unpredictable. And not reaching a proper diagnosis of this terrible condition will only result in serious complications such as poor quality of life and mood disorder.
Although IBS isn’t a life-threatening disorder and the experience varies individually, it’s still a serious condition that can occur to anyone. Which is why we’ve created a short list of things you should know about this condition to help you understand what this condition is and when to seek medical help.
1. What’s IBS and what causes it?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. People with IBS may experience symptoms that can interfere with their everyday life. And given the overlap of symptoms with other conditions, many may mistake IBS for occasional digestive issues. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but some factors may play a role:
- Exposure to stress
- Your genetics
- Abnormal GI muscle contraction and movement of food through the GI tract
- Severe bacterial overgrowth in the intestine
- Certain foods that may trigger symptoms
2. What are the symptoms of IBS?
IBS has a lot of symptoms that occur in other conditions, which makes it hard to identify. Its primary symptoms are abdominal pain or cramping, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas or mucus in the stool. What makes it even more challenging to identify is that there are no specific physical tests to determine whether someone has IBS. The only way to find out is to rule out other diseases—which can only be done accurately by medical experts.
3. Can IBS lead to other diseases such as colitis, Crohn’s disease or colon cancer.?
No. It doesn’t increase your risk of developing other conditions. But overlap with other digestive issues is possible.
4. Is there a cure for IBS?
Unfortunately, there is no known cure yet. But there are ways like lifestyle and dietary changes to help improve and manage the symptoms.
5. When should you see your doctor?
If you have a persistent change in bowel habits or other signs or symptoms of IBS that are affecting your quality of life, you should see your doctor. And remember, symptoms of IBS overlap with other digestive issues; if it’s not IBS, then it may point to other health problems that need medical attention. So if you experience any of the symptoms and it interferes with your daily life, talk to your doctor.
If you have experienced any of the symptoms or have questions about IBS and your risk of getting it, you can contact our office at (613) 592-0862, or you can fill out the form on this page and have a patient advisor call you today.