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Symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Symptoms of IBS

Symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are not the same in every person. As the name indicates, “Irritable” bowel syndrome may cause diarrhea, constipation, alternating diarrhea and constipation, or other gastrointestinal side effects.

The condition known as irritable bowel syndrome affects the digestive system (IBS). Usually, it’s a lifelong problem.

Dealing with it could be highly bothersome and have a big impact on your daily life activities and quality of life.

IBS has been linked to stress, anxiety, depression, a family history of IBS, oversensitive gut nerves, and how fast or slowly food goes through your stomach.

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Stomach Pain or Cramps:

The colon muscle tends to contract more often in IBS sufferers than in people who do not suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

This condition results in abdominal cramps and stomach pain in such patients. Additionally, IBS sufferers frequently have a lesser capability to tolerate pain.

Further, research has indicated that IBS symptoms may be exacerbated by an overabundance of microorganisms in the GI tract.

Three out of four IBS sufferers experience ongoing or regular stomach discomfort, with pain serving as the main contributor to their irritable bowel syndrome’s severity.

Importantly, and in contrast to chronic pain in general, IBS discomfort is frequently accompanied by changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or both). [Ref]

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Crohn’s disease or IBS

Although it can be felt anywhere in the abdomen (belly), the lower abdomen is where chronic discomfort (pain lasting six months or more) is most frequently reported in IBS.

It could get worse just after eating, get better after a bowel movement, or occasionally get worse. It can alter over time and is not always predictable.

Most IBS sufferers describe their stomach aches as painful, stabbing, stinging, and throbbing cramps.

IBS patients who have chronic stomach discomfort do not typically have structural damage, such as ulcers, but the pain is nevertheless very genuine.

The brain receives the feeling after it originates in the gut and interprets it as pain. The agony is unrelated to physical harm that is immediately apparent, such as a fractured bone.

According to brain imaging, patients with IBS experience greater stomach discomfort than average while under a particular amount of stress.

People who have IBS are hypersensitive; as a result of their heightened sensitivity, a stimulus hurts them more. They might be more painful than others or feel pain that is more intense than others, a condition known as allodynia (called hyperalgesia).

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Bloating: One of the most common symptoms of IBS:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers frequently experience bloating symptoms. IBS sufferers frequently complain of gas, which causes bloating, and it significantly affects their ability to go about their everyday lives.

Bloating is frequently listed as one of the more upsetting IBS symptoms. Bloating can be caused by a malfunctioning abdominal wall musculature, delayed gas transit, delayed gas generation from bacteria fermenting undigested food, delayed gas transit, and increased gut sensitivity to normal luminal gas volumes.

In one study, 60% of IBS patients evaluated bloating as the most troublesome symptom, whereas 29% identified pain as the most invasive symptom. [Ref]

Women with IBS report abdominal bloating and distention more frequently than males do. Bloating symptoms in women get worse around menstruation time. [Ref]

In most research, bloating is more common in IBS patients with constipation than in those with diarrhea, while some studies found no association between bloating and any particular defecation pattern. [Ref]

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Related Diarrhea

IBS-D is a subtype of IBS marked by symptoms of bloating or stomach discomfort as well as often loose or frequent feces.

Any gender or age group can get IBS-D, however, young girls are more likely to experience it than men or elderly persons.

In some individuals who suffer from IBS, the intestines may contract quickly, which can result in both discomfort and quicker stool movement.

This reduces the time the gut has to absorb water from the food being digested, resulting in loose or watery stools.

A change in diet and lifestyle can totally reduce symptoms in some persons with mildly irritable bowel syndrome-related diarrhea.

From patient to patient, specific foods that aggravate symptoms might vary greatly. There are several foods that include lactose or gluten that are typical issue foods for persons with IBS-D, but there is no good testing to determine which foods may cause symptoms. Avoiding these foods can help those people’s symptoms.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Related Constipation

Constipation and stomach discomfort or bloating coexist in IBS-C, a form of IBS. When feces don’t move across regularly enough, constipation commonly results (less than three times per week).

Firm, challenging-to-pass feces and the impression of an incomplete bowel movement are symptoms of constipation.

Some patients discover that specific meals might “trigger” or bring on IBS-C symptoms. The precise foods that trigger symptoms might, however, differ greatly from person to person.

One can benefit from eating more soluble fiber, such as that found in oats, psyllium, and flax. It’s frequently advised to reduce your intake of gas-producing foods, drinks, and caffeine. Studies have been done on particular diets, and some patients have benefited from them.

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Some Other Symptoms of IBS

  • Experiencing fatigue and a lack of energy, passing mucus from your bottom, and feeling ill (nausea)
  • Backache problems
  • Peeing symptoms include having frequent impulses to urinate, having unexpected urges to urinate, and feeling as though your bladder is not totally emptied (bowel incontinence)
  • Farting (flatulence)
  • Palpitation and apprehension are common and patients usually visit a cardiologist or in severe cases to the ER for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction.
  • Fatigue and Lethargy are prevalent. These symptoms are usually more noted by patients who have associated depression.
  • Numbness and tingling of hands and feet, paresthesias, and hot flashes may develop in patients with IBS.
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How Can You Treat Symptoms of IBS?

The goal of IBS treatment is to reduce symptoms as much as possible to allow you to lead a normal life.

Stress management, dietary and lifestyle changes, and stress reduction, can frequently control mild signs and symptoms. Try to:

  • Avoid eating things that make you sick.
  • Eat meals high in fiber.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Regular exercise
  • Take adequate rest.
  • Go for a hike on weekends.
  • Practice spirituality and Yoga.

Medications that are most helpful in the treatment of IBS are:

  • Gut antiseptics such as Rifaximin and probiotics.
  • Antispasmodics like Buscopan and mebeverine
  • Anxiolytics with antispasmodics such as Librax (Librium)
  • Antacids and PPIs
  • Antidepressants such as paroxetine (Seroxat)

Novel treatments have also been approved for the treatment of IBS. These include:

  • Linzess (Linaclotide)
  • Motegrity (Prucalopride)
  • Trulance (Plecanatide)
  • Tegaserod (Zelnorm)
  • Viberzi (Eluxadoline)
  • Amitiza (Lubiprostone)
  • Tenapanor (IBSrela)

Read: Latest treatment of IBS-C

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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