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.
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 .
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 .
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 :
- 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 :
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- A bloated feeling
- Gas (flatulence)
- Mucus in the stool
- Diarrhea or constipation — Sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
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
- National Institutes of Health. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. NH Publication No. 12-693. 2012 July
- Health Grades Inc. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 2011 May 2.
- Nationa lInstitutes of Health. Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States. NIH Publication No. 10-3873. 2010 June.
- Mayo Clinic. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2011 July 29.
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