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IBS Symptoms: Do You Suffer From Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Published on , Last Updated on April 13, 2016
 


man sitting on toilet

Are you suffering from abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation?

According to National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), if you are experiencing any of the previous symptoms referenced above, you could “potentially” be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), although not necessarily.

Much like the symptoms of constipation, IBS symptoms are rather diverse and can vary widely from one person to the next. In fact, it is important to be aware that there are a number of diseases and conditions producing similar symptoms to that of IBS, such as:
  • Gallstones
  • Diverticulitis
  • Diverticulosis
  • Colon Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Gluten Intolerance (Celiac Disease)
  • Bowel Blockages
  • Food Allergies
Although Irritable Bowel Syndrome causes discomfort and distress, the good news is that with proper diet and stress management, most people can control their IBS symptoms.

The NDDIC further reports that as many as 20% of the adult population, or one in five Americans, have symptoms of IBS. This makes it one of the most common disorders. Extensive research also indicates that irritable bowel syndrome occurs more often in women than in men, and it begins before the age of 35 in about 50% of people [1].

What is IBS?

NDDIC defines Irritable Bowel Syndrome as a functional disorder in which the bowel doesn’t work, or function, correctly. Important to note here is that IBS is defined as a disorder, not a disease.

WrongDiagnosis.com defines IBS as a common condition that affects the lower gastrointestinal tract (the intestines) and results in uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms, such as gas, emotional distress, and abnormal bowel movements [2].

IBS Facts

Although a functional disorder and/or common condition by definition, here below are key IBS facts taken from NDDIC that you need to be aware of [3]:

  • Prevalence: 15.3 million (1998)
  • Ambulatory Care Visits: 3 million (2004)
  • Hospitalizations: 212,000 (2004)
  • Mortality: 20 deaths (2004)
  • Prescriptions: 5.9 million (2004)

Most Common IBS Symptoms

The Mayo Clinic reports that the most common symptoms of IBS are [4]:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • A bloated feeling
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Diarrhea or constipation — Sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
WrongDiagnosis.com reports 22 typical symptoms of IBS:
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Flatulence
  • Indigestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Bowel Spasms
  • Mucus in Stool
  • Constipation
  • Swollen Abdomen
  • Abdominal Discomfort
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Small or Narrow Feces
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Frequent Bowel Motions
  • Discomfort Behind Breastbone
  • Feeling unfinished bowel motion

There’s Always Hope!

In most cases, signs and symptoms of IBS can be addressed with a healthy diet, water, and exercise. Do you have any tips for living a normal, healthier lifestyle? Leave a comment and share them below.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

References:

  1. National Institutes of Health. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. NH Publication No. 12-693. 2012 July
  2. Health Grades Inc. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 2011 May 2.
  3. Nationa lInstitutes of Health. Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States. NIH Publication No. 10-3873. 2010 June.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2011 July 29.

Recommended Reading:

Posted In: Colon Health,Colon Health Blog,Irritable Bowel Syndrome

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Leaf on the Wind

    Quick note – IBS is often caused by issues with wheat (Gluten sensitivity, Celiac – up to 80% of population?) & grains/grain-like items in general. Fats, especially natural (not processed) saturated fats are necessary for health, while carbohydrates are not necessary for consumption.

    Further research: Paleolithic diets & way of eating/ancestral health movement.

    “Whole grains lots and low-fat” is much more likely an aggravator than a cure-all.

    IBS can be very painful, so had to add a note.

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