Why It’s Important To Find The Proper Care For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

How familiar are you with Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Does it have any other names? Do you know how common Irritable Bowel Syndrome is in the United States among adults? How does it affect the body? These are excellent questions, so let’s take this time to learn a bit about how our bodies function. 

First, let’s talk about numbers. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of the adult population in the United States experiences the uncomfortable symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but only half of them have been diagnosed with the condition. That means that up to 45 million people suffer from IBS, but potentially only half of them have received a diagnosis. You may wonder what the distinction is between experiencing the symptoms and having a diagnosis, because both groups of people are still feeling the effects of the condition. 

The difference is that fully half of the people who have these symptoms may not know what is wrong with their bodies, and they may not be under medical supervision for their condition. They might think they have a lingering illness, a sensitive stomach, or perhaps they’ve mistaken their IBS for multiple food allergies. Without proper diagnosis and care, these people might be feeling confused and frustrated as they try to figure out what is upsetting their stomachs. The ones who have had a proper evaluation and who receive medical care are fortunate because they have the guidance of their healthcare professional. They can ask questions and receive advice for foods to avoid, or how to minimize painful symptoms. 

So, what exactly is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS for short? It is a common disorder of the large intestine, which is also called the colon. There is a difference between IBS, when compared to both Ulcerative Colitis (also known as UC) and Crohn’s disease. Though they may share common symptoms, people who experience IBS do not need to worry that their condition can alter the bowel itself, or make it more likely that they will suffer from an increased risk of colon cancer. Only persons who have UC or Crohn’s disease need to be concerned about this, and monitor this possibility with their healthcare professional. 

Let’s learn about how IBS affects the body. There is a wide range of symptoms and a person may not experience them all. The symptoms can be mild to severe. Some people may just need to keep to a strict diet, while others may need medication to help manage their condition. IBS is a chronic, lifelong condition, which has no cure and must be managed so symptoms are minimized. People with IBS can experience gas, cramps, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea. Each case of IBS is unique to the person who has it, as shown by the two symptoms of diarrhea and constipation. They seem to be completely opposite problems, but both fall under the category of IBS. Some people will experience one or the other, and people with more severe cases of IBS may go painfully back and forth between the two. Do you want to learn more about IBS? Call a naturopathic doctor for an appointment today.