Diagnosing IBS

IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a condition plagues millions of people worldwide. This health problem affects the muscles and nerves of the bowel. When you have IBS your intestines will not work the way they are supposed to. Typical symptoms of irritable bowel include abdominal pain and cramps, bloating and severe gas, diarrhea, constipation, and much more. Many IBS sufferers experience alternating spells of constipation and diarrhea, mucus in the stools, and an overly sensitive stomach.

The exact cause of IBS is not known, but there are many possibilities. When there are no deformities, tumors or infections in the intestines, experts feel that the condition may be due to neurological issues. IBS may also be a result of an immune disorder, which causes the body to attack itself. It may be caused by an intestinal disease, or other problem, such as stomach flu.

There are many things that may trigger an episode of irritable bowel. Spicy foods and dairy products are known to trigger IBS. Gas trapped in the intestines, stress and hormonal changes can trigger IBS, as well. Certain medications can worsen the intensity of IBS.

Many people have a bout of abdominal pain or bowel problems now and then. That is not unusual. But it is unusual when there are persistent or recurrent symptoms. When that happens, it is time to find out why. Diagnosing IBS is not a simple process. There are no specific tests for identifying IBS. Instead, diagnosis for IBS is based on defined patterns of symptoms. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and then perform a physical exam and a few tests. The doctor may order a blood test to find out if you have gluten intolerance. Your stool may also be tested to look for the presence of parasites or other bowel infections. Tissue sample may be taken from your colon to look for evidence of colon or intestinal disease.

If the tests are negative and you don’t have intestinal disease, then you are experiencing the typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. So tests look for the presence of other things, not for IBS. That means that if all potential causes for these symptoms have been ruled out, a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome can be made.

If all tests are negative for all known medical conditions, a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome may be made by your doctor. There is no visible sign that comes up on a test, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is wrong with you. People have severe headaches, but nothing is found on tests. It is the same with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.

IBS causes painful and uncomfortable symptoms, so if you have been diagnosed with this condition you need to take appropriate steps to treat or control it. Many people who are suffering from this condition have been able to manage it by making dietary and lifestyle changes. If you need medical treatment for your IBS symptoms, your doctor will be able to give recommendations. Natural treatments for IBS are also available and may be helpful in treating IBS. It is possible to manage your daily activities, and live well, despite an IBS diagnosis.

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