Signs You May Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Health & Medical Blog

When you are having gastrointestinal issues, you may think you just have a stomach bug or another acute issue. However, if those issues last for a while or they come back intermittently, you may have another issue going on. One such possible issue is irritable bowel syndrome (commonly referred to as IBS). Get to know some of the signs and symptoms of IBS. Then, you can better decide if you need to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist for your digestive issues. 


If you regularly or intermittently struggle with constipation, you may be struggling with IBS. IBS impacts the large intestine specifically, which is essentially the bottom portion of the intestines, including the colon and rectum.

When this part of the body becomes irritated and inflamed, it can easily become blocked up because of the inflammation and swelling. This, in turn, creates constipation. 


On the opposite end of the spectrum, you could have diarrhea when you have IBS. Frequent bouts of diarrhea with no sign that you have food poisoning or other illnesses can be a sign of IBS. 

It is also possible to have both constipation and diarrhea when a person has IBS. Going back and forth between constipation and diarrhea is a common issue when a person has IBS. The irritation and inflammation in the bowels can generate both reactions. 


Abdominal cramping, particularly lower abdominal cramping can also be associated with IBS. If you frequently experience stomach cramps of unknown origins or cramping when you need to pass a bowel movement, IBS could be the culprit. 


Abdominal bloating is also a common sign that a person has IBS. Bloating is the unusual swelling of the belly with air and gas (along with stool if constipation is involved). 

Sudden Need to Defecate

Sometimes, a person with IBS will suddenly need to defecate immediately. This immediacy can often be intense and can even lead to accidents if the person is not near a bathroom. Many people with IBS also suffer from the frequent need to pass bowel movements. This can be combined with the sudden need to go, deeply affecting a person's social life and ability to leave the house when their IBS is flaring up. 


Because of the embarrassing nature of IBS as well as the problems it can cause a person's social life and ability to lead a normal life, many people with IBS also struggle with depression. They can feel trapped in their own homes and betrayed by their bodies. Generally, this depression will improve with treatment of the IBS symptoms. 

Now that you know some of the signs you may have irritable bowel syndrome, you can schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible if you notice you have some of these symptoms. 


27 June 2019

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