IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a very commonly diagnosed condition by gastroenterologists. It is a functional disorder, which means no structural or biochemical abnormalities can be identified that cause the condition. However, IBS is a very real medical condition that can result in much suffering if symptoms are not properly managed. As April is IBS Awareness month, here are some of the common signs and symptoms of IBS that you should be aware of:
- Abdominal Pain and Cramping: The pain and cramping sensation tends to be in the lower abdominal region or generalized. It is rarely localized to the upper abdominal region alone. The pain may be relieved with having a bowel movement.
- Constipation and/or Diarrhea: Constipation predominant IBS is the most common type followed by diarrhea-predominant IBS. About 20% of IBS sufferers have alternating constipation and diarrhea.
- Bloating and Gas: Uncomfortable bloating and gas due to altered bowel movements is one of the most frustrating symptoms of IBS that can lead to severe anxiety and depression.
- Food Intolerances: About 70% of IBS patients have reported specific food triggers. Common triggers include stimulants such as coffee and FODMAPs (foods containing fermentable carbohydrates poorly digested by humans)
- Fatigue: More than 50% of patients diagnosed with IBS report constant fatigue and poor sleep quality.
It has been estimated that 10-15% of the adult population have IBS with women being more commonly affected than men. If you have been experiencing the above-mentioned symptoms, visit a gastroenterology specialists for an in-depth evaluation and treatment recommendation.
At North Central Surgical Center, our mission is to treat each and every one of our patients, and their families, as if they were our own family member. Each patient, each family, each and every time.