What is IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome?

What is IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome?
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal disorder characterized by stomach ache, gas, diarrhea and  constipation. It is also known as IBS colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, nervous colon and spastic  bowel. It is the most common disease that gastroenterologists diagnose with about 10-15% of the  adult population having IBS. 

Though what causes IBS is unclear, it is believed that microbial factors play a key role in triggering it. It has been often seen that IBS is preceded by food poisoning in most of the cases. Therefore, researchers believe that microbes involved in infectious gastroenteritis may have an impact on the  immune system that leads to long-term changes in the gut. Other factors that lead to IBS include:  problems with contraction of the GI muscles and how food moves through them; extra sensitive  nerves in the GI tract; miscommunication between nerves in the brain and gut; hormonal imbalance  etc.  

Mostly, people aged 50 or younger are likely to develop IBS. People with a family history of IBS are the other cohort which are at a higher risk of developing it. Additionally, persons with a history of  anxiety, depression or other mental issues, are vulnerable to develop IBS. 

Types of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Depending upon the state of stools and abnormality of the bowel movements, IBS is categorized into 3 types: 

  1. IBS-C i.e., IBS with constipation: In this, more than a quarter of the stools are hard or lumpy  and less than a quarter of stools may be loose or watery 
  2. IBS-D i.e., IBS with diarrhea: In this, more than a quarter of the stools are loose or watery  and less than a quarter of the stools are hard or lumpy. 
  3. IBS-M i.e., IBS with mixed bowel habits: In this, more than a quarter of the stools are hard or  lumpy and the other quarter of the stools are loose or watery. 

Signs & Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Though the main cause behind the development of the irritable bowel syndrome is not clear, there are  multiple signs and symptoms which can easily indicate the presence of the disease. These include:

  • Stomach cramps & pain which usually reduce after passing of the stools 
  • Repeatedly using the toilet  
  • Bloating & swelling in stomach 
  • Formation & passing of excess gas 
  • Feeling of fullness of the stomach or bowels even after passing the stools 
  • passing of mucus from rectum 
  • changes in the pattern of bowel movements 

Sometimes consumption of certain food items or fruits & vegetables may trigger the symptoms or  worsen the current situation, causing diarrhea or constipation. These include beans, celery, onions,  carrots, raisins, bananas, apricots, prunes, brussels sprouts, pretzels, bagels, dairy products, sugar free  gum, some candies and caffeinated products. 

Some people might experience additional symptoms depending on their health or prior medical  history. These symptoms include: 

1) Fatigue 

2) Backache 

3) Constant sickness 

4) Loss of bladder control or incontinence 

5) Frequent urination  

6) Halitosis (bad breath) 

7) Headache and/or joint or muscle pain 

8) Painful sex (dyspareunia) & irregular menses in women

Sometimes, anxiety and depression may also occur due to the persistent illness, discomfort and  embarrassment which may accompany the condition. 

Moreover, when the condition becomes more serious, the following signs & symptoms may be seen:

  • Weight loss 
  • Rectal bleeding 
  • Iron deficiency (anemia) 
  • Unexplained vomiting 
  • Difficulty in swallowing 
  • Persistent pain 

Since irritable bowel syndrome can become fatal and deadly at later stages, its early diagnosis is  essential for effective treatment. Therefore, one should immediately take a doctor’s advice if any of  the early-stage symptoms or complications are noticed. In Delhi NCR, among a number of  experienced and renowned gastroenterologists available for consultation, doctors at Yashoda Hospital  & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad are the best. Visit them today for consultation or book appointment online.

Diagnosis of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

A gastroenterologist will confirm the presence of IBS by examining the symptoms and medical  history of the patient. S/he might ask questions related to: 

  • Painful bowel movements 
  • Frequency of bowel movements 
  • Change in appearance of stools 
  • Presence of IBS-related symptoms 
  • Any medication 
  • Any recent sickness or stress 

However, some other tests such as blood test, stool test and X-ray may be done to find the root cause  or exact nature of the disease. 

Treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Since there is no specific cure for IBS, doctors provide personalised treatments according to the needs  and condition of individual patients. Moreover, making lifestyle and dietary changes can do wonders  for IBS patients. Some advisable dietary and activity changes include: 

  • Take a fibre-rich diet 
  • Add a supplemental diet to your existing diet, such as Metamucil or Citrucel
  • Intake plenty of fruits 
  • Avoid caffeinated products 
  • Limit the use of dairy products such as cheese & milk (lactose intolerance is common in people  with IBS) 
  • Exercise everyday  
  • Quit smoking habits 
  • Do yoga & meditation 
  • Intake probiotics i.e., the ‘good bacteria’ which can help improve symptoms 

Although the above measures provide relief and improvement in IBS to a large extent, appointment  with doctor on a regular basis is required for containing the disease. Senior and experienced gastroenterologists should be consulted for getting effective and right treatment for the condition. Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru  Nagar, Ghaziabad offers treatment for patients suffering from gastro-intestinal, liver, pancreatic and  biliary disorders. The best gastroenterologists in Delhi NCR available at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre are as follows:

Dr. Manish Kumar Gupta – Considered as one of the leading gastroenterologists in Delhi NCR, he  is recognized for his work in chronic liver disease, pancreatitis, and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel  Disease). He is also an expert in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, ERCP, EUS, and capsule  endoscopy. 

Dr. Sushrut Singh – A consultant in the department of gastroenterology and hepatology, Yashoda  Hospital & Research Centre, he is one of the best gastroenterologists in Delhi NCR. An advanced  endoscopist and expert in endoscopic gastric balloon placement for obesity, he is known for  performing various gastric and liver-related procedures with great precision.

Share this
Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital is one of the best super specialty hospitals in Ghaziabad, Noida & Delhi NCR. Yashoda Hospital aims at providing the best healthcare services across the country and not just in Delhi NCR, Ghaziabad & Noida. Being a super speciality hospital, Yashoda Hospital has a number of dedicated specialities under one roof- gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology, cardiology, pulmonology & internal medicine, orthopedics, urology and many more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *