It’s completely normal for you to feel a little gassy or bloated after a good meal. What isn’t normal is when you feel any stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain over a long period of time. This could mean that you’re suffering from a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder like the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can turn out to be a very painful and uncomfortable experience.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
IBS is one of the most common GI disorders diagnosed by medical practitioners and is an extremely common occurrence among women. As a functional disorder, IBS is a collection of symptoms, including cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, that go on for at least 3 months. There are 4 main types of IBS:
- Diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D)
- Constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C)
- IBS with alternating stool patterns (IBS-A)
- Post-infectious IBS (IBS-PI)
IBS can completely take over your daily routine. You’ll feel a constant need to have to plan your days and nights so you can stay close to a bathroom at all times. Additionally, IBS stems from more than just thoughts and stress levels. However, this GI disorder
Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Generally, IBS involves continuous abdominal pain coupled with altered bowel movements over an extended period of time. But, the pain and bowel movements can take many forms. Symptoms of IBS can vary greatly from one person to another and range from mild to extreme.
While women are the most likely to have IBS, most people aged under 50 are at the risk of being diagnosed, too. Even people whose family members have a history of this GI disorder are likely to get IBS. To put things into perspective, IBS symptoms typically show up during your childhood, and in most cases, it’s always before 40 years of age.
Women with IBS are also known to exhibit more severe symptoms during their menstrual cycles. Here’s a list of the most common symptoms of IBS and what you can do about them so you’re well-equipped to be on the road to
1. Pain And Cramping
Abdominal pain — the most common symptom — is a key factor in the diagnosis of IBS. Usually, your gut and brain work as a team to control your digestive process via hormones, nerves, and signals released by your good gut bacteria. If you have IBS, these cooperative signals can get distorted, leading to uncoordinated and painful tension in your digestive tract muscles. This pain is what you feel in your lower abdomen or your entire abdomen. Following bowel movements, this pain typically decreases.
How To Fix It
A modified diet, like a diet low in fermentable, oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs), may relieve the abdominal pain and other symptoms. You could also try bowel relaxants like peppermint oil.
2. Constipation And Diarrhea