Irritable bowel syndrome is a common issue among adults under the age of 50. While it is not life-threatening, it can disrupt your normal life and cause pain and discomfort. The good news IBS can be easily treated, you just have to be willing to make an appointment with a gastrointestinal doctor to assess the potential causes of symptoms and best practices to avoid them. In order to know if IBS is an issue for you, it’s important to learn the symptoms most associated with this functional gastrointestinal disorder. These 10 symptoms may be warning signs that you are affected by IBS.
- Abdominal Pain
- Excessive Gas
- FODMAP Sensitivity
- Brain Fog
- Joint Pain
The specific reason IBS increases your risk for joint pain is still being researched. However, scientists think it may be a result of increased inflammation in your body.
One of the main symptoms associated with IBS is pain and cramping in your lower abdomen. Your gut may be contracting more frequently than it is meant to which leads to pain.
Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of IBS. Diarrhea occurs when the muscles in your gut contract too much.
Constipation occurs when the muscles in your gut do not contract as often as they should. If you have difficulty or pain passing a stool, have a bowel movement fewer than three times a week, or have hard, dry, lumpy stools, you are likely constipated.
The exact reason people with IBS have excessive gas is unclear, however, researchers do have two theories. One, IBS causes an issue with bacteria in the gut that causes excess gas. Two, those with IBS are unable to tolerate or transport gas.
When gas collects in the gut, your abdomen can feel full and look more round. Feeling bloated is common for people with IBS.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols—carbohydrates that can irritate the gut. When you are sensitive to these foods, intestinal gas increases and causes inflammation. You may need to avoid onions, avocado, garlic, beans, lentils, cashews, and almonds.
Because the nervous system controls both your intestine and your response to stress, there is a strong connection between IBS and feelings of psychological distress. During stressful seasons, symptoms of IBS tend to worsen. On the flip side, IBS symptoms can you to feel stressed.
While researchers don’t fully understand why fatigue is a symptom of IBS, feeling overly tired is common among people with IBS.
If you have difficulty concentrating, experience mental confusion, have impaired judgment or feel as if your brain is foggy, you may be experiencing a symptom of IBS.
If you experience any combination of the symptoms described above, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Sameer Islam. He is a trusted gastroenterologist in Lubbock, Texas, dedicated to helping you find the right treatment plan for you.