Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common disorder that is characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, cramping and constipation. These symptoms can be seen for at least 3 months but it can also last throughout a person’s life.The symptoms may come and go frequently for a day, a week or even a month.
Although it can be super uncomfortable and irritating, it is not permanent and can be treated or at the very least managed by changes in diet, medicine and managing stress.
The severity of IBS differs from one person to the other. Some research suggests that there’s a connection between progesterone and estrogen levels and IBS. This explains why some women with IBS report that the gastrointestinal symptoms are worse during their periods.
There are no particular tests to find out if you have IBS. Your doctor will diagnose you with Irritable bowel syndrome if the typical symptoms are found. Doctors tend to ask you about your family’s medical history and will check for any tenderness in your abdomen or if any internal organs are swollen. You will also be checked for weight loss and fever. If any of the above symptoms are found then it is likely that you have something other than IBS.
Change in diet - Limiting the intake of certain foods like cabbage, broccoli, dairy products, alcohol, Caffeine, fatty foods, carbonated drinks like soda especially ones with artificial sweeteners in them.
Eat small portions of foods and chew properly before you swallow. This will ensure that the food is properly digested and not lead to constipation problems. Give a preference to foods rich in fiber and drink loads of water every day.
Medications - You may be recommended fiber supplements to control constipation. Antispasmodic agents such as peppermint oil can help slow the contractions in the bowel. There are also certain FDA approved IBS medicine for women with severe constipation problems.
Stress Relief - Many women suffering IBS seek help for stress, depression, and anxiety. Psychological therapy and hypnotherapy are a couple of treatments that you may opt for. But in general, you can achieve a stress-free life by exercising regularly and surrounding yourself with positivity and warmth.