Health & Fitness

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine.

According to Mayo Clinic only a small number of people with IBS have severe signs and symptoms.

It doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase the risk of having colorectal cancer.

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

According to United Kingdom’s National  Health Services, the symptoms and signs of IBS are:

CAUSES

The actual cause of IBS isn’t known, MayoClinic states.  Factors that appear to play a role include:

  • Muscle contractions in the intestine.

The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract  (mengecut) as they move food through your digestive tract.

Contractions that are stronger and last longer than normal can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea.

Weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools.

  • Nervous system

Defects in the nerves in your digestive system may cause you to experience greater than normal discomfort when your stomach stretches from gas or stool.

Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can cause your body to overreact to changes that normally occur in the digestive process, causing pain, diarrhea or constipation.

  • Inflammation (keradangan) in the intestines

Some people with IBS have an increased number of immune-system cells in their intestines.

This immune-system response is associated with pain and diarrhea.

  • Severe infection

 IBS can develop after a severe session of diarrhea (gastroenteritis) caused by bacteria or a virus.

IBS might also be associated with too much bacteria in the intestines.

  • Changes in bacteria in the gut (microflora)

Microflora are the “good” bacteria that live in the intestines and play a key role in health.

Research indicates that people with IBS might have different microflora than healthy people.

COMPLICATIONS

Chronic constipation or diarrhea can cause hemorrhoids (buasir)

Additionally, IBS is related to:

  • Poor quality of life

Research indicates that people with IBS miss three times as many days from work as do those without bowel symptoms.

IBS sufferers need to go the bathrooms frequently

 

  • Mood disorders

Experiencing the signs and symptoms of IBS can lead to depression or anxiety.

Depression and anxiety also can make IBS worse.

LIVING WITH IBS

IBS is unpredictable, National Health Service reports. A person may go for many months without any symptoms, then they might suddenly reappear.

The condition can also be painful and weakening, which can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life and emotional state.

A visit to the doctor is advised, should the individual have feelings of depression or anxiety that is affecting his or her life.

Person with ABS should seek medical treatment to help with depression.

These problems rarely improve without treatment and the doctor can recommend treatments such as antidepressants or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can help with IBS, as well as directly treating the condition.

With appropriate medical and psychological treatment, individuals with IBS should be able to live a normal, full and active life.

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