Can IBS Lead To Other Health Problems?
Smoking leads to emphysema or cancer. Obesity leads to diabetes. Stress leads to ulcers. Sun exposure leads to skin cancer. All of these things seem to follow a straightforward formula, A + (time) = C. Those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have to wonder if all the pain and discomfort that they feel will lead to other health problems.
Who has IBS?
It is estimated that between eight and twenty-three percent of the western world has Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It affects almost one in five Americans, making it one of the most widespread syndromes. While it affects more women than men, IBS is a non-discriminating condition affecting people equally among the U.S. population. IBS begins most often for people in their twenties.
What is IBS?
IBS is a disorder that causes the functions of the large intestine to malfunction. A functional disease, this means that IBS affects the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, causing the nerves and the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract to misfire. This in turn causes the organs of the gastrointestinal tract to not work properly. IBS is not something that can be seen under a microscope. Instead, any other possible diseases and conditions need to be eliminated.
What are the Symptoms of IBS?
IBS manifests itself in several ways and can be different for each person. Some experience bloating, which is usually a gas build-up in the intestines. Some experience constipation, some experience diarrhea and some experience an alternating combination of the two. Most people will feel pain and pressure in the abdominal region.
What Causes IBS?
There is no clear organic cause for IBS. There are several theories about what is going on in the body to cause IBS. One is that the affected person's colon is more sensitive to things like certain foods and stresses than others. It also appears that the affected person's immune system may be overactive. The abnormal function of the affected person's gastrointestinal tract can occur because of the sensory nerves of the affected organs, making the cause the organs themselves, the brain or the spinal cord. It is also possible that it is the actual motor nerves that misinterpret sensations and send the wrong messages.
What Makes IBS Worsen?
While there is no clear cause for IBS, there are things that make IBS symptoms worse. The following are known to cause a worsening of IBS symptoms: stress or emotional upsets, certain medicines, large meals, bloating from extra gas, caffeinated drinks, milk products, alcohol and certain grains such as wheat, rye or barley. In addition, women may find that symptoms worsen during their menstrual periods.
Can IBS Lead to Other Health Problems?
IBS can be extremely painful for some, but it does not permanently damage the intestines or lead to any serious diseases such as cancer. Most people with IBS find that they can usually control their symptoms with the right diet, medications and management of stress. Some find IBS to be debilitating, but most find it manageable. People with IBS have had wonderful results with a healthy, natural remedy.