An Overview of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 By: John Smi
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is an illness that people know very little about. In fact, it was only in 1992 that a standard set of symptoms used to diagnose this illness was established. Here are certain facts about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that you should know about:

1) It is not fatal - Many people need to be assured of the fact that they cannot die from irritable bowel syndrome. This is because of the fact that the first thing that comes out of most doctors mouths when they examine a patient with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the fact that the illness is incurable.

This, of course, upsets the patient and would make him or her think that he or she could die from irritable bowel syndrome. This is not true.

2) Not as uncommon as you think - About 10 -20 percent of the population today suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People just attach such a stigma to any illness involving the bowels that those who experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) do not really have inclinations to talk about it. In fact, almost all of the people suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome are surprised when they realize that they are not alone in their problems.

3) Its cause is still unknown - The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is still unknown. However, it has been established that the symptoms of this illness can be triggered by different things. Although there is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome, there are several things which a person can do to lessen the impacts of the symptoms.

Technically, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is termed as a functional disorder. This means that it is because of an abnormality in the way the body functions. This means that the physical structure of the body is the same, but it just works differently. One question that still baffles many people is, "how exactly does it work differently?"

4) There are various and seemingly contradicting symptoms - Many people expect this type of illness to be diagnosed using a standard set of symptoms. This means that many people expect to see the same set of symptoms in people suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, you should realize that each case of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be different in symptoms. Some people experience diarrhea while others may experience constipation. Only after a series of tests can a physician truly say that a person has irritable bowel syndrome.

5) Your diet affects it - Since irritable bowel syndrome mostly affects the digestive process, it is the case that what you eat can affect how you feel. When eating, remember that you need to have lots of soluble fiber. This helps stabilize your digestive process and prevent both diarrhea and constipation.
You should also try to avoid these foods:

a) High- fat
b) Alcohol
c) Carbonated Drinks
d) Coffee (even decaffeinated coffee is not good)
e) Dairy Products (even for those without lactose intolerance)

6) Not all types of fiber can help with it - There are different articles circulating around the web that promote eating different foods with fiber. They often cite fruits and vegetables as examples of what a person suffering from irritable bowel disease (IBS) should eat plenty of. However, people should realize the fact that these contain insoluble fiber that could worsen the symptoms of the illness. What people need to do is to take soluble fiber supplements together with these foods in order to balance the activity in the stomach.
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IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is an uncomfortable and often distressing condition that affects around a third of the population at one time or another. So disruptive is IBS, that around ten per cent of all people seek medical assistance in dealing with it.
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