Nov 16, 2022
Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Causes, Symptoms & Remedy
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder with a high current global prevalence that not only generates a significant health care burden but also can severely impairs quality of life. Occasional gut woe is not something to worry about, but serious gut issue is to be paid attention to!
Irritable bowel syndrome has been conceptualized as a functional bowel disorder that generates altered bowel habits and abdominal discomfort. Several comorbid conditions may occur in those with IBS, including gastro-esophageal reflux, genito-urinary symptoms, headache, backache, and psychological symptoms.
There are 3 types of IBS based on different patterns of changes in bowel movements.
IBS with predominant constipation
IBS with predominant diarrhea
IBS with mixed habits
This article reviews irritable bowel syndrome, symptoms, causes, and dietary interventions.
SYMPTOMS OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)
- Impaired intestinal gas clearance
- Abdominal pain
- Alternative bouts of diarrhea or constipation
- Passing mucus in stools
IBS symptoms vary between men and women, women are more likely to experience constipation and men experience more diarrhea.
WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP IBS?
- Women are up to 3 times more likely than men to develop IBS.
- People younger than age 50 are more likely to develop IBS.
- IBS is more likely to happen in individuals with a biological relative with IBS.
- Having a history of the high level of stress perceived by people working in professional roles.
- Those suffering from gastrointestinal infections.
CAUSES OF IBS
The implicated causes of IBS are as under:
- Visceral hypersensitivity
- Gut dysmotility
- Low-grade mucosal inflammation
- Immune dysregulation
- Altered gut microbiota
- Disruption in the gut-brain axis
- Food hypersensitivity and food intolerance
- Increased epithelial barrier permeability
- Luminal water retention and gas production caused by short-chain carbs in the diet
- Alterations in stress-responsive physiologic systems
- Altered intestinal microbiota
- Food intolerances and allergies
DIETARY INTERVENTIONS FOR IBS
There is a growing focus on research to improve IBS symptomatology through dietary modification. As people with IBS associate the symptoms with the ingestion of specific foods, dietary management is considered an important tool in IBS treatment.
- Establish a regular meal pattern (breakfast, lunch, and dinner with appropriate snacks).
- Avoid skipping meals, avoid eating large meals, eating late at night, and leaving long gaps between eating.
- Avoid large and fatty meals.
- Avoid dairy as IBS has an increased likelihood of lactose malabsorption.
- Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar
- Practice mindful eating, chew food thoroughly.
- Reduce the intake of insoluble fibers.
- Reduce alcohol (alcohol intake may affect the GI tract motility, absorption, and permeability)
- Restrict sources of caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks) - have been demonstrated to increase gastric acid secretion and colonic motor activity.
- Ensure good hydration.
- Fermented foods will support intestinal flora.
- Reduce the intake of insoluble fibers (nuts, beans, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans) which can create a challenge for the digestive system and cause symptoms of IBS
- The utility of probiotics, digestive enzyme, or magnesium supplements parallel to dietary modifications plays a role in intestinal microbiota and improve symptomatology.
- Peppermint tea is excellent for reducing symptoms of bloating.
- Exercise serves as a complement to the diet and helps maintain GI function and reduce stress, which relieves stress and can help with IBS symptoms.
- Elimination diets that remove common food allergens like gluten, fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharides, monosaccharides, wheat, and eggs may help.
- Soluble fiber supplementation may help to improve conditions of IBS with constipation.