I bet that you have heard of IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, before. It is one of the most uncomfortable and embarrassing conditions known to man. Perhaps that is why despite the fact that it is a recognized condition, not many people are open to discussing it.
So what is IBS exactly? According to Barbara Bradley Bolen:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a digestive disorder that many people have, but few people talk about. It is estimated that IBS affects up to 15% of the population with its symptoms of chronic abdominal pain and major disturbance of bowel functioning. IBS can entail bouts of urgent diarrhea, episodes of chronic constipation, or a pattern of alternating between the two.
Indeed, it could be quite common yet not as commonly discussed. What causes IBS? There are many theories as to what causes IBS but there is no clear cut reason as of today.
Dr. Bolen further states:
Researchers are not yet quite clear why people develop IBS. Often the disorder manifests itself following a severe bout of gastroenteritis, otherwise known as the stomach flu. Sometimes symptoms appear after the experience of an extremely stressful event. A high incidence of IBS in adults were the victim of sexual or physical abuse in childhood. As you can see, stress and IBS often go hand in hand, but the relationship is not yet fully understood. New research avenues are looking at dysfunction in the neurochemical systems of the gut and the brain to better understand the role that stress plays in the onset and maintenance of IBS symptoms.
Now that we’ve opened this topic and we’ve described IBS, let us look into its symptoms next time.
Photo courtesy of Nutrigenesis