Learn about the causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) within New Zealand.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition, characterised by lower abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, or an alternation between these symptoms. The exact cause is not known, but stress & diet can be contributory factors.
Causes of IBS
Unfortunately the causes of IBS are something of a mystery making the
condition difficult to understand and treat. Healthcare professionals
believe there are a number of factors that interrelate to cause
Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Some of the possible factors for IBS include:
• Abnormal muscular function in the digestive tract
• Hypersensitive digestive organs
• Immune system malfunction
• Problems with the way the digestive system is controlled by the central nervous system
• Poor responses to infection
• Dietary, hereditary, environmental factors
Psychological factors are also thought to cause IBS symptoms and there is much evidence to suggest this is true. The way we deal with stress, emotions or depression can cause symptoms of IBS to 'flare-up' and the condition is particularly common among people who have experienced severe trauma.
The body is physically affected by the way we think and feel about things due to chemical reactions taking place. This can affect how the digestive system works and result in worsening IBS symptoms.
Between 10 and 20 per cent of IBS cases begin after a bout of acute gastroenteritis (a stomach infection that causes inflammation of the stomach lining, vomiting and diarrhoea).
Symptoms of IBS
The symptoms of IBS can begin at any age but commonly begin during the
late teens to early adulthood. The most common symptoms of irritable
bowel syndrome are:
• Pain in the abdomen and cramps often relieved by emptying the bowel
• Constipation or diarrhoea or a combination of both
• Bloated or swollen abdomen
• Flatulence (wind)
• The need to go to toilet urgently
• Never feeling that you've completely emptied your bowel
• Mucus passing through the rectum
IBS symptoms typically are worse after eating and when symptoms to appear they can last two to four days at which point they improve or disappear completely.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can also cause other symptoms including:
• Back pain (lower)
• Muscular pain
• Joint pain
• Halitosis (bad breath)
• Need to urinate frequently
Psychological symptoms such as anxiety or depression can result due to the persistent pain and discomfort of IBS.
A GP will make a diagnosis of IBS based on symptoms and ruling out other conditions such as gluten intolerances (this is done through a blood test).
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