Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disorder of the gut. (The gut includes the bowels.) A functional disorder means there is a problem with the function of a part of the body, but there is no abnormality in the structure. So, in IBS, the function of the gut is upset, but all parts of the gut look normal, even when looked at under a microscope.
IBS can affect anyone at any age, but it commonly first develops in young adults and teenagers. IBS is twice as common in women as in men
The cause is not clear. It may have something to do with overactivity of part or parts of the gut. The area of overactivity in the gut may determine whether constipation or diarrhoea develops. The cause of overactivity in parts of the gut is not clear. One or more of the following may play a part:
- Overactivity of the nerves or muscles of the gut. It is not known why this may occur. It may have something to do with overactivity of messages sent from the brain to the gut. Stress or emotional upset may play a role. About half of people with IBS can relate the start of symptoms to a stressful event in their life. Symptoms tend to become worse during times of stress or anxiety.
- Intolerance to certain foods may play a part in some cases. However, this is thought to be only in a small number of cases.
- Infection and bacteria in the gut. IBS is not caused by an ongoing gut infection. However, in about 1 in 6 cases, the onset of symptoms seems to follow a bout of gastroenteritis (a gut infection which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting). So, perhaps a virus or other germ may sensitize or trigger the gut in some way to cause.
- Hormones. Because women are more likely to have IBS, researchers believe that hormonal changes play a role in this condition. Many women find that signs and symptoms are worse during or around their menstrual periods. persisting symptoms of IBS.
Also, in some cases, symptoms get worse after taking a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill certain harmless or good bacteria in the gut, which changes the balance of bacterial types in the gut.
- Pain and discomfort may occur in different parts of the abdomen. Pain usually comes and goes. The length of each bout of pain can vary greatly. The pain often eases when you pass stools (motions or faeces) or wind. Many people with IBS describe the pain as a spasm or colic. The severity of the pain can vary from mild to severe, both from person to person, and from time to time in the same person.
- Bloating and swelling of your abdomen may develop from time to time. You may pass more wind than usual.
- Stools (sometimes called motions or faeces):
- Some people have bouts of diarrhoea, and some have bouts of constipation.
- Some people have bouts of diarrhoea that alternate with bouts of constipation.
- Sometimes the stools become small and pellet-like. Sometimes the stools become watery or ribbony. At times, mucus may be mixed with the stools.
- You may have a feeling of not emptying your rectum after going to the toilet.
- Some people have urgency, which means you have to get to the toilet quickly. A morning rush is common. That is, you feel an urgent need to go to the toilet several times shortly after getting up. This is often during and after breakfast.
- Other symptoms sometimes occur and include: nausea (feeling sick), headache, belching, poor appetite, tiredness, backache, muscle pains, feeling quickly full after eating, heartburn, and bladder symptoms (an associated irritable bladder).
Some people have occasional mild symptoms. Others have unpleasant symptoms for long periods. Many people fall somewhere in between, with flare-ups of symptoms from time to time. Some doctors group people with IBS into one of three categories:
- Those with abdominal pain or discomfort, and the other symptoms are mainly bloating and constipation.
- Those with abdominal pain or discomfort, and the other symptoms are mainly urgency to get to the toilet, and diarrhoea.
- Those who alternate between constipation and diarrhoea.
Many people have occasional signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, you're more likely to have IBS if you:
- Are young. IBS symptoms first appear before the age of 35 for about half of those with the disorder.
- Are female. More women than men are diagnosed with this condition.
- Have a family history of IBS. Studies have shown that people who have a first-degree relative - such as a parent or sibling - with IBS are at increased risk of the condition.
Homeopathy comes to the rescue of patients here since homeopathic treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is safe, gentle and without any side effects. The medication targets the root of the ailment and thus the healing occurs at the level of the altered immunity. The homeopathic treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) takes into consideration the physical as well as mental make up of the patient so that the remedy selected is a perfect match for the patient, leading to long-term relief.
Regular treatment helps in reducing the frequency of attacks gradually so that the person's health is restored back to normalcy.
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