What Are the Causes of IBS? Who Is at Risk?
The gastroenterology condition known as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) can affect your day-to-day life in many ways. Leading to irritation in the large intestine, stomach, and surrounding areas of your digestive system, IBS often leads to uncomfortable and, at times, awkward symptoms.
At GastroArkansas, we understand the effects this condition could have on your daily health, well-being, and quality of life. Our gastrointestinal providers routinely see irritable bowel syndrome in Little Rock, AR adults and can assist you in easing its symptoms. Read on to learn what might be behind irritable bowel syndrome and to determine whether you are in jeopardy of developing IBS.
How does IBS develop?
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not well understood. It’s thought to result from a disruption between the brain, which controls gut function, and the gastrointestinal system — this is why many professionals reference it as “the brain-gut disorder.” This interference could produce motility problems inside your gastrointestinal tract, causing the muscles to move food through the system too slowly or too quickly. Irritable bowel syndrome is also called “spastic colon” due to the spasms in the colon that typically go hand in hand with the condition.
A variety of elements may be IBS triggers, like:
- Stressful situations
- Fatty or spicy foods
- Caffeinated beverages
- Changes in your microbial makeup of the intestines
- Alcohol use
- Intestinal infections
- Fluctuations in hormones
Being able to recognize IBS triggers and your chance of getting IBS should help you better manage your body’s response if you are ever diagnosed with IBS.
What are IBS risk factors?
Irritable bowel syndrome is an intricate gastrointestinal ailment. Multiple concerns could result in irritable bowel syndrome’s first appearance or reoccurrence. Some factors that might enhance your risk of developing IBS are:
- Age of the individual: Patients of just about every age group might have the condition, but it often develops during the teenage years or early adulthood. It is less common to develop in individuals over 50 years of age.
- Mental health: Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, may increase the risk of developing this condition.
- Familial history: Some might be genetically predisposed to experiencing irritable bowel syndrome.
- Being female: Irritable bowel syndrome is about twice as frequent in women than men.
- Lifestyle choices: A poor diet, lack of exercise, use of tobacco and/or alcohol, and being overweight may increase the risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome.
If you believe you might be at risk of developing IBS or other digestive concerns, we ask you to request an appointment at a GastroArkansas location near you.
What are the most common symptoms of IBS?
IBS symptoms often differ from one person to the next. Actually, IBS symptoms in women are generally different than IBS symptoms in men and can even range in aggressiveness. Most individuals with irritable bowel syndrome generally have minor issues. A great deal of the more known symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome involve:
- Difficulty going to the bathroom
- Stomach discomfort
- Mucus in the stool
Should you have any one of these signs or symptoms or notice a change in your bowel habits, it’s vital to consult with a GI expert. Our gastro doctors in Little Rock, AR can assess your symptoms and concerns to verify if irritable bowel syndrome is causing your issues.
How is IBS treated?
Though avoiding IBS may not be possible, action can be taken in order to help reduce its effects. Treating IBS often involves long-term management of IBS symptoms to control the condition. Reducing symptoms and managing the condition could include changing in your lifestyle, such as adding high-fiber foods into your diet, making sure you get enough water, daily exercise, and avoiding common IBS triggers. Medications could also help alleviate its symptoms, including anti-nausea, anticholinergic, anti-diarrheal, and antidepressant medications. Laxatives and fiber supplements might be recommended to take care of associated issues that might trigger the condition.
Receive IBS treatment in Little Rock, AR
More than causing discomforting symptoms, IBS makes many people feel mentally defeated and hopeless. It is possible to experience relief from this often-chronic condition. The team at GastroArkansas offers successful care for irritable bowel syndrome and can help lead you to an enhanced quality of life. To learn about your risks, irritable bowel syndrome self-care, and to access a GI doctor who can treat IBS in Little Rock, AR, reach out to our team to request a consultation.