Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Stress
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a painful and embarrassing disease.
While stress is not a direct cause of IBS, stress can aggravate IBS symptoms.
Reducing stress can help to relieve IBS symptoms.
Here we discuss:
Despite prevalence rates of around 20% of the American population, little is known about the causes of IBS.
While many of us suffer from IBS symptoms some time in our lives, people with IBS suffer the symptoms of IBS often and with little warning.
This can be embarrassing and painful for the sufferer of IBS.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome and what causes IBS
IBS is an intestinal disorder that can cause discomfort and distress.
IBS can be characterized by:
This means that IBS sufferers have bowels that are sensitive and easily upset.
Other symptoms of IBS may include nausea, heartburn, abdominal fullness, bloating or the feeling of needing to get to the restroom quickly.
The cause of IBS is not full understood yet.
There are a number of myths that abound around IBS. Some of these IBS myths include:
However, the research shows that the cause of IBS is not completely understood.
IBS is characterized by increased sensitivity of the nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract.
This may alter the muscle contractions in the colon.
Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
While stress does not cause IBS, the symptoms that characterize IBS may be affected.
One of the common symptoms of stress is increased muscle tension.
This increased muscle tension affects the sensitivity of the colon.
For example, stress has increased the motility and sensation of the colon in IBS sufferers compared to non-IBS sufferers.
How Does Stress Affect Health?
How Does Stress Affect Health?Stress exacerbates IBS systems but there are other ways that stress can affect health. These include:
How this occurs is not certain.
But stress can increase the sympathetic neural stimulation of the gastrointestinal tract which increases the sensitivity of the colon.
When people are stressed, they often report feeling butterflies, or may experience cramps.
In people who suffer IBS, the colon is very sensitive, with the the mind becoming more aware of the sensations in the colon.
As you become more aware of these unpleasant sensations, this may create a vicious cycle between the mind and the bowel, resulting in more symptoms of IBS.
While the cause of IBS is unknown, factors that can trigger IBS include stress, diet, infection, or changes in routine.
Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are a number of treatment options available for you if you suffer from IBS. Some of these include:
The information published is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek advice from a qualified health care professional.
For more information on IBS and your treatment options, please visit About IBS.
Search here for more information on IBS
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