Do you ever have extreme stomach pain? Feel like there are days when you can’t get off the toilet? Maybe you feel so exhausted from the constant pain and bloating that you’re exhausted at the end of the day. If so, then you could have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal disorder worldwide —affecting up to 15% of people. IBS is more common in people under the age of 45. IBS is a long-term, chronic condition but there are effective treatments to help you manage it.
So, what are the irritable bowel syndrome symptoms? Some of the most common irritable bowel syndrome symptoms include:
- Diarrhea – Up to one-third of patients with IBS experience frequent diarrhea.
- Stomach pain and cramping – Abdominal pain is a common irritable bowel syndrome symptom. The pain will usually decrease following a bowel movement.
- Gas and bloating – This can be severe and persistent.
- Food intolerances – The majority of people with IBS report food intolerances, especially to foods containing lactose and gluten.
- Insomnia and other sleep problems – A lot of people with IBS have difficulty sleeping likely because the symptoms tend to interfere with sleep.
- Persistent fatigue – Insomnia can cause you to feel tired continuously throughout the day. This fatigue can make it hard to get through the day.
- Depression and anxiety – Studies show that about 60 percent of IBS patients have depression, anxiety or another psychiatric disorder. It is not clear why these issues occur with IBS, but medical experts have several theories. They think that stress affects the immune system, which can trigger IBS. Another argument is that stress may make the mind more aware of IBS symptoms. Depression is thought to be triggered or worsened by IBS. Physical ailments often trigger depression.
What Can I Do If I Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms?
If you had symptoms of IBS, the first thing that you should do is visit your doctor. Before your appointment, it might be helpful to keep an IBS symptoms journal. This record can help your doctor diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. It can also help your doctor identify your triggers.
Your doctor might want to test to make sure that your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are not due to another illness. They’ll also likely talk to you about ways to control your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Living With and Managing IBS Symptoms
Although there is not a cure for IBS, there are some lifestyle changes that you can make to help you manage the illness.
Acupuncture has been proven effective for treating chronic pain. Acupuncture is a popular therapy for IBS, and many patients get relief with acupuncture. Several studies have shown that it can help with abdominal bloating and other irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Take Supplements for IBS
WebMD recommends supplements for irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Supplements like the Restore 3 program for IBS can help restore the proper balance of bacteria in the digestive system. This restoration helps combat the symptoms of IBS so that you feel better.