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Cause Of IBS: Is It Stress?

By — One of many Digestive blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com

Stress can cause a myriad of different problems in your life and to your body. Most of the time we cannot control how much stress is put upon us, however what we can control how we deal with the stress. If not dealt with properly stress can not only affect your mood and state of mind but it can also contribute to medical conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, high cholesterol, and many other diseases. Many medical professionals are now also starting to wonder whether or not stress is the main cause of Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.

Facts about IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS affects millions of people in the United States and all the rest of the world. Some symptoms of IBS include abdominal pains, cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Because of the similar symptoms IBS is often confused with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis or Dyspepsia. The medical community is still up in the air on whether or not to classify IBS as a disease or disorder. There is also much debate as the cause of IBS; however, stress is thought to be one of the main contributors to the medical condition.

Stress and IBS

Many medical professionals believe that stress is the main cause of IBS while others believe that IBS is triggered to the combination of stress and diet to an over sensitive colon. Although knows for sure one way or another at this point in time stress at the very lease is proven to be one of the biggest contributors to IBS. A study done by an American researcher and his colleagues found that almost 70 percent of the general population that was surveyed said that they suffer from changes in their bowel function when they are under a lot of stress or put in a stressful situation. In addition to bowel dysfunction over 50 percent of the people that were studied also experienced abdominal pain, cramps, and discomfort when they were under stressful conditions. When current IBS sufferers were surveyed about 45 percent of the people had admitted to currently being under treatment for stress management issues. Over half of the people that were being treated for stress management issues felt as though that stress and not handling it properly did contribute to condition as well as affected it. (2) Some other studies have shown that for some reason people that suffer from IBS naturally are affected by stress more than regular people. As a result stress and stressful situations are more likely to cause them to harm to their body and their gastrointestinal tract.

Treatment and Therapies for IBS Sufferers

IBS is very individualized when it comes to treatment. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another. Since stress is a big contributor to IBS many people do respond positively to stress management classes, exercise programs, and yoga and meditation. Some other treatments include diet, medication for severe cases, and natural supplements.

Sources:

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2001/401_ibs.html

http://www.ibs-research-update.org.uk/IBS/stress1ie4.html


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