By Smarty — One of many Digestive blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition where the intestines are chronically upset. While harmless, it can be particularly unpleasant and inconvenient for the sufferer. Typically, irritable bowel syndrome doesn't lead to any life-threatening conditions. Symptoms include abdominal pain, appetite loss, back pain, bloating, constipation, cramping, depression, diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, groin pain, lethargy, painful intercourse for women, sleep interruptions, tiredness, frequent urination, urgent need to urinate, and low back pain. Some of these symptoms are female specific, which may be related to the discussion that irritable bowel syndrome symptoms worsen during periods. Every day activities present challenges for those who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome because certain foods and medications may aggravate it. Eating can cause unwanted diarrhea and spasm delays may lead to unwanted constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome can appear at any age, but most symptoms are experienced the first time between the ages of 15-40.
Irritable bowel syndrome is more prevalent in the Hispanic population in Texas and the Asian culture in California. Women are two-three times more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome in Western countries. Indian subcontinent represents 70-80% of irritable bowel syndrome sufferers as male.
Unfortunately, some of the most well-known triggers of irritable bowel syndrome include chocolate and milk. Alcohol is another offender of irritable bowel syndrome. Caffeine is another potential trigger of irritable bowel syndrome. Food intolerance is just one trigger of irritable bowel syndrome. Stress is another trigger of irritable bowel syndrome. Ironically, menstrual cycle is the last well-known trigger of irritable bowel syndrome.
For women who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome, they may find increased intensity of their symptoms during their menstrual cycle. Because the irritable bowel syndrome symptoms increase during her period, it's believed the reproductive hormones may contribute to the problem. Findings reveal the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome are exaggerated during a woman's cycle. It seems rectal sensitivities develop during the menstrual cycle and increase the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In a study that compromised three groups of women, all three groups reported increased irritable bowel syndrome pains during their menstrual cycles. The medical foundation of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms being aggravated during the menstrual cycle is believed to focus on the gastrointestinal tract as it relates to female hormones, like estrogen. Further, because of the time and pain involved, diagnosis is delayed. The situation is further exasperated because uterine, ovarian, and bowel pains are similar and difficult to diagnose.
Sources: http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/Irritable_bowel_syndrome.html http://www.emedicine.com/MED/topic1190.htm http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/455850_5
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