Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disturbance of the bowels with symptoms of abdominal pain or discomfort featuring a change in bowel habit - chronic diarrhea or constipation or alteration between the two. Everyone suffers from occasional bowel problems, however, to be diagnosed with IBS, the symptoms will be more severe or occur chronically.
What are the most common symptoms of IBS?
The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating that have been present for at least three days a month for the last three months.
What causes IBS?
It is not clear why patients develop IBS. Sometimes it occurs after an infection of the intestines, but there may be other triggers. IBS can occur at any age, but it often begins in the teen years or early adulthood. It is twice as common in women as in men. About 1 in 6 people in the U.S. have symptoms of IBS. It is the most common intestinal problem that causes patients to be referred to a bowel specialist, or a gastroenterologist.
How is IBS diagnosed?
Most of the time your doctor can diagnose IBS based on your symptoms, with few or no tests. Eating a lactose-free diet for two weeks may help the doctor check for a possible lactase deficiency.
How is IBS treated?
In milder cases, patients may be counseled on better eating habits and a healthier lifestyle. Medication may be successful for patients suffering from more severe cases of IBS. In either case, working closely with your doctor is recommended to give you the best chance of finding the right solution for your symptoms. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms.
Are there any natural or herbal remedies for treating IBS?
Recent studies have highlighted the role of food sensitivities in some IBS sufferers. This can involve the exclusion of obvious trigger foods. The ALCAT is the most effective and comprehensive sensitivity/intolerance test available. The ALCAT differs from other food allergy or intolerance tests as it accurately and objectively measures leukocyte cellular reactivity in whole blood, which is a final common pathway of all mechanisms. It is the only test shown to correlate with clinical symptoms by double blind oral challenges, the gold standard.
Does IBS ever go away, or do people have it for life?
IBS may be a lifelong condition. For some people, symptoms are disabling and reduce the ability to work, travel and attend social events, but symptoms can often be improved or relieved through treatment.
Natural Health Atlanta
5755 North Point Parkway, Suite #53
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Natural Health Atlanta is committed to taking a holistic approach that will look at the imbalances and work toward restoring this balance for the body.