Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a disorder involving the large intestines. Among its symptoms is a pain in the abdominal area, changes in bowel habits, bloating, cramping, and increased gas.
IBS can be triggered by various factors although its exact cause remains unclear. It can be accompanied by diarrhea, in such cases, it is referred to as IBS-D. It can also be associated with constipation, hence the acronym used to refer to it, IBS-C.
IBS is described as a functional disorder for it affects the normal function of the digestive system. The problem, per se, is not within the tissues but rather on the movement. Should you notice changes in your bowel activity or other signs related to IBS, it’s best to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible to check for potential underlying health conditions.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Causes
Although the exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unknown, there are several factors that can trigger it. Here are some of them:
- Many people that experience IBS say their symptoms tend to peak after consuming particular food or drinks, such as dairy, beans, and citrus fruits.
- Stress tends to worsen IBS symptoms but it doesn’t necessarily cause them.
- IBS is more prevalent among women. Signs and symptoms tend to get worse when hormonal changes occur, such as during menstrual periods.
- Intestinal contractions. Strong muscle contractions in the intestinal walls can result in bloating and diarrhea. Weak contractions, on the other hand, can interfere with food passage and cause hard stools.
- Severe infection. Bacteria or viruses can trigger the onset of IBS.
How to Prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Changes in diet and eating habits. Certain foods and habits may trigger the onset of IBS symptoms. Limit your sugar intake as too much of it can upset your bowel. It also helps to focus when you’re eating and chew your food properly. Consider working with a nutritionist or dietitian too. They can recommend food choices that won’t exacerbate symptoms of IBS.
- Stress management. Managing stress can help ease IBS symptoms. Stressors can come in various forms. They can be psychological, such as financial difficulties, relationship problems, or job loss. They can also be physical, such as an illness or a recent surgery. Either way, stress is known as one of the major triggers of Irritable bowel syndrome. So practicing stress relief techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can be of huge help. Participating in mindfulness training can also help clear your head of worries so you can focus on the present better.
- Progressive relaxation exercises. Performing progressive relaxation exercises can also help ease muscle tension. If you are not used to doing daily exercises, you may want to visit a physiotherapy clinic. Physiotherapists can advise you which types of exercises are best for your needs.
Physiotherapy for Easing IBS Symptoms
Physiotherapy treatment for irritable bowel syndrome focuses on alleviating its symptoms. Your physiotherapy will guide you in making simple lifestyle changes. An exercise program will be designed for you to help you reduce stress and anxiety.
Though IBS is life-long, it doesn’t have to keep you from doing things you love.