Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): What it is and how to treat it

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the gastrointestinal disorders that has been growing the most in recent years in terms of the number of diagnosed cases. It affects the stomach and intestines, which together form the gastrointestinal tract. Below we explain more about it, such as what its causes and symptoms are.

Gastrointestinal inflammation, a pathology on the rise

The digestive system is responsible for chemically breaking down nutrients into parts small enough so that the body can absorb the nutrients and use them to provide energy, growth and even cell repair.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the importance of taking care of our digestive system, and the truth is that it is true, since it stores up to 70% of our defenses. Its good condition is essential, since if we find ourselves with an altered digestive system, we will encounter negative impacts on our daily lives, such as a weakened immune system, decreased energy, low mood, poor mental clarity and even poor quality. of sleep.

Main causes and symptoms of IBS

The symptoms can always vary depending on the person who suffers from it, but the most common are:

  • Pain, cramps or bloating in the abdomen, related to a bowel movement
  • Changes in the appearance of bowel movements
  • Changes in the frequency with which bowel movements are passed

Other types of symptoms could also be bloating, a feeling of not having finished defecating, or whitish mucus in the stool. Women who suffer from IBS tend to have more symptoms during menstruation.

On the other hand, the causes of this disorder are not certain, as professionals say that it may be due to a combination of problems. And also, different factors can cause IBS in different people.

Differences between ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease are two different disorders, although the differences between the two can be confusing.

IBS is classified as a syndrome, does not cause inflammation and does not usually require hospitalization. There are no signs of disease or abnormality during a colon exam, and there is no increased risk of colon cancer.

IBD, on the other hand, is classified as a disease and can cause destructive inflammation and permanent damage to the intestines. The disease can be seen on diagnostic images and there is an increased risk of colon cancer.

Diagnosis of IBS

In order to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, the medical professional will first review your symptoms, your medical history, family history and finally perform a physical examination. What will be done in each of the parts?

  • Symptom review : Firstly , it will diagnose if you have pain in the abdomen, along with some other symptoms, such as: if there is pain with bowel movements, if there are changes in the frequency of bowel movements, if there are changes in the appearance of stools . The doctor may ask about other symptoms such as whether there has been bleeding in the rectum, anemia, weight loss, or bloody stools.
  • Medical history/family history: some of the questions the doctor will ask will be: if there is a family history of digestive problems, if you have had recent infections, diet, what medicines you can take, etc.
  • Physical exam : Check for abdominal swelling, listen to abdominal sounds with a stethoscope, tap the abdomen for tenderness or pain.

Once all these steps have been completed, the doctor can continue with the diagnosis by performing a series of tests to check what other problems there may be to confirm that you suffer from IBS. For example, blood tests, stool analysis and other tests such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, hydrogen breath test.

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are symptoms that can be controlled by managing stress, introducing changes in diet and lifestyle. All of this could be achieved by avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, eating foods rich in fiber, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.

One option would be to eliminate the following from your diet:

  • Foods that cause gas : carbonated drinks, alcoholic drinks and certain foods that increase gas production
  • Gluten: Some research shows that people with IBS report improvements in diarrhea symptoms when they stop eating foods containing gluten.
  • Fermentable carbohydrates : there are people who are sensitive to certain carbohydrates such as fructose, fructans , lactose and others, known by the acronym FODMAP.

At Vitae we care about your health and that is why we try to offer the best of us, providing valuable ideas for your daily life. At Vitae we always recommend that any time you feel unwell or feel that certain symptoms are unusual, go to your doctor.

Vitae solution

OlioVita Gastro is a food supplement based on sea buckthorn oil and beta-glucans that contributes to the maintenance of the digestive mucous membranes and the immune system.

Different scientific studies have shown that beta-glucans contribute to the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, stimulating the activity of the microbiota , modulating the immune system against pathogens.

On the other hand, sea buckthorn oil confers moisturizing and nutritional properties to recover the intestinal mucosa in case of physiological alterations that cause inflammation and damage to the mucosa.


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