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What Are the Symptoms of IBS?

What Are the Symptoms of IBS?

Can you imagine trying to get through your day, never knowing when severe cramps, sudden diarrhea, or never-ending constipation will take over and force you to find a bathroom?

If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an attack can strike at any time. IBS prevents you from enjoying social activities, interrupts your family life, and affects your performance on the job.

IBS is the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal (GI) condition and one of the most difficult to manage. If you face GI problems, you can turn to the team at The Well for Health in Davidson, North Carolina, for care, understanding, and support. We work closely with you to find solutions, improve your IBS symptoms, and restore your overall well-being.

IBS explained

IBS is defined by its symptoms because it doesn’t cause obvious signs of disease in your large intestine. However, when cells from the digestive tract are examined under a microscope, they often reveal chronic inflammation.

IBS may arise from various problems, including:

Some of the problems in this list are connected. For example, serotonin is naturally produced in your gut. It turns out that serotonin levels are 10 times higher in people with IBS compared to those without the condition.

High serotonin levels in your gut cause an increase in muscle contractions, inflammation, and hypersensitivity. 

IBS symptoms

Abdominal pain is one of the top symptoms of IBS. Though the pain often comes and goes along with changes in your stools and bowel habits, some people experience constant pain.

One of the most challenging aspects of IBS symptoms is that they can attack at any time. Sometimes they may appear out of the blue; other times, they flare up in response to certain foods, stress, and other triggers.

IBS symptoms are divided into three categories:

IBS with constipation (IBS-C)

If you have IBS-C, you have infrequent bowel movements, need to strain to pass stool, and/or feel like you can’t empty your bowels. Though you have gas and abdominal cramping, your discomfort may improve if you can have a complete bowel movement.

IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)

As you would expect with diarrhea, IBS-D causes abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and watery, frequent bowel movements. Diarrhea primarily occurs during the day and shouldn’t bother you at night. Many people with IBS-D have an urgent need to urinate and develop pain in other body areas.

IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M)

People with IBS-M have symptoms of IBS-C and IBS-D.

In addition to your primary symptoms, living with IBS causes a host of other problems. You may experience:

Many people understandably lose their appetite, either due to their ongoing pain or because the things they eat make their IBS symptoms worse.

IBS treatment

Though you’re anxious to find relief, the best way to get there is with careful functional diagnostic testing and thoughtful, personalized treatments that target your unique healthcare needs.

If you struggle with IBS, book an appointment online or over the phone with The Well for Health today.

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