Why See An Ibs Specialist
IBS symptoms can come and go, and last for short or long periods of time. There is no known cure for IBS and for many sufferers it becomes a life-long condition. Fortunately, it can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.
IBS shares symptoms with other conditions, so it is important to see an IBS specialist if you suspect that you have IBS. An IBS specialist is a gastroenterologist who specialises in diagnosis and treating IBS.
IBS is a diagnosis thats given when other similar conditions have been ruled out. An IBS specialist will not only diagnose your condition, but give you detailed advice on how to manage your condition.
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Ice alleviate pain by reducing inflammation or swelling that compresses the sciatic nerve. On the other hand, heat packs can be useful in relaxing the tight muscles on the lower back.
If you are not sure when to use cold packs or hot compress, read this article on Ice and Heat therapy for lower back pain.
Different Factors That Aggravate Ibs
Some researchers find that psychological factors seem to trigger the flare-ups and regulate the severity of the IBS, response to medical treatment, and persistence of the syndrome.
In fact, there are 23 unique psychological factors that are might be associated with IBS symptoms. The most common factors are:
Let’s take a quick look at each one of these.
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How To Ease Anxiety
If you can learn to manage your anxiety and stress, you may suffer from fewer or less intense IBS symptoms.
Not every anxiety-reducing technique works for everyone, but some to try include:
- Deep breathing
Some people find anxiety is appeased by talking it out with a friend or by listening to music. Regular exercise, proper sleep, and eating healthy IBS-friendly meals also helps you stay in control of anxiety.
If anxiety persists and continues to aggravate IBS, consider talk therapy with a professional. In some cases, a therapist may offer prescription antidepressants to help minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression.
We can also help you get help from a self-help group full of people who are dealing with IBS and other digestive disorders. Because the people in the group are experiencing some of the same digestive distress as you and the embarrassment and isolation it can cause, you may feel more supported and connected than you would with a friend.
Causes Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Its not clear exactly why some people develop irritable bowel syndrome . But there seem to be several changes that happen to your bowel and lead to symptoms.
- Your bowel may be more sensitive than normal and over-react to certain foods or other factors such as emotional stress.
- Your body may be more sensitive to pain coming from inside your bowel.
- There may be changes to the microbes living in your bowel.
- There are changes in how food moves through your digestive tract.
Overall, there seems to be a combination of factors that affect both your brain and your bowel, and the interaction between the two. This is sometimes known as the brain-gut connection. It can explain why things like stress may trigger symptoms.
Although its not fully understood why someone might develop IBS, the condition is often associated with:
- a bout of food poisoning or gastroenteritis
- inflammation as a result of another condition such as inflammatory bowel disease
- taking certain medicines that affect your bowel, including antibiotics
- previous traumatic experiences such as abuse
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What Can I Do About Ibs
There isnt a cure for IBS, but the symptoms can be managed. If you havent already done so, youll want to make an appointment with your primary care provider or PCP. Theyll check if your symptoms are due to more urgent health conditions, and if its really IBS, theyll work with you to improve your symptoms over time.
If you have another health issue, like anxiety, your provider can also advise you on how to treat both conditions at the same time. Managing IBS itself usually requires a combination of diet and lifestyle changes, and medications and sometimes, those can help your anxiety, too.
Which Foods Should You Eat During An Ibs Flare
During an IBS flare up, it is important to stick to plain foods that will not aggravate your symptoms. Foods to avoid will include anything that is overly greasy, caffeinated, alcoholic, or spicy.
Many people also find it helpful to avoid short-chain carbohydrates, which are found in grains, legumes, dairy, and certain fruits, because they can lead to extra gas and be bloating because they are difficult to digest.
Certified Nutritionist Elaine Brisebois recommends that people with an IBS flare up mainly focus on liquid foods.
Bone broth, vegetable broth, and other clear soups provide plenty of calories without containing a lot of aggravating ingredients. They also provide water needed to prevent nasty bouts of constipation from occurring.
Getting a little bit of soluble fiber can be helpful in firming up the stool, but many fibrous foods can make gas and bloat worse. Good options for gentle fiber include bananas, jasmine rice, cooked carrots, cooked green beans, and cooked oats.
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Treating Stress And Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Oftentimes, IBS sufferers know where their stress comes from however, there are certain individuals that have difficulty pinpointing their stress. One way to help you determine what is stressing you out is to keep a journal.
You should keep track of your thoughts and feelings, the foods you eat, and the things you do. In addition, write down any symptoms you experience. Remember no detail should be ignored. It may take some time, but once you have determined the stressors in your life, you can begin taking the necessary steps to either eliminate them or learn to cope with stressful situations.
What Causes An Ibs Flare Up
It’s unclear what causes episodes of IBS symptoms, but several studies have shown the following factors may play a part in IBS flare-ups:
- Eating âtriggerâ foods: High FODMAPs foods may cause IBS symptoms.
- Stress: both short and long-term stress, for example from situations at work or in life in general, can increase gut problems.
- Gastrointestinal infection: Especially in severe cases, gut infections have been shown to trigger IBS symptoms.
- Psychological condition: anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder can all bring on an IBS flare-up.
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Know More About Various Treatment Options For Sciatica
Sciatica treatment plans and methods may vary from patient to patient. Some may benefit more from exercise, but others may not. Treatment therapy can only be effective if you know the underlying cause of your sciatica.
If you have no idea what causes your sciatica, discuss possible diagnostic or assessment procedures with a doctor to fully understand the causes, symptoms, complications, and appropriate treatment modalities for your Sciatica.
What Are The Causes Of Ibs
Researchers dont exactly know what causes IBS. They think a combination of factors can lead to IBS, including:
- Dysmotility: Problems with how your GI muscles contract and move food through the GI tract.
- Visceral hypersensitivity: Extra-sensitive nerves in the GI tract.
- Brain-gut dysfunction: Miscommunication between nerves in the brain and gut.
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Tip : Manage Your Stress
Stress-related symptomslike abdominal pain and bloatingoccur more often and more intensely in people with IBS. Managing the stress in your life is important in avoiding flare-ups.
There are several effective methods for stress management that can improve IBS symptoms, including deep breathing and yoga. The secret is to breathe from your diaphragm, not your chest, to relax your abdominal muscles. Doing so can lead to more regular bowel activity.
What Is A Functional Gi Disorder
IBS is a type of functional gastrointestinal disorder. These conditions, also called disorders of the gut-brain interaction, have to do with problems in how your gut and brain work together.
These problems cause your digestive tract to be very sensitive. They also change how your bowel muscles contract. The result is abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation.
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The Autonomic Nervous System
The sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic nervous systems serve the entire gastrointestinal tract and are closely connected with the enteric nervous system . Together, these systems govern secretion, motility, sphincter control, and microcirculation in the gut . Under stress conditions, the ENS produces large neuropeptides, which in turn affect intestinal immunity and inflammation. Geboes et al. found that there are mixed abnormalities in all CD and UC patients for different cell types of the ENS . Another study showed that patients with UC have markedly lower autonomic functions in comparison to those with CD and healthy controls .
Stress can activate the sympathetic autonomic system, leading to increased production of major adrenal medulla hormones, mainly catecholamines, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. Catecholamines mediate increases of central and peripheral inflammatory cytokines and activation of the inflammatory nuclear factor B signaling pathway in response to stress . In addition, the vagus nerve, which has anti-inflammatory effects, is inhibited by stress, leading to an increased systemic inflammatory response to endotoxin and intestinal inflammation .
How Stress May Trigger Ibs
The bodys goal is to maintain homeostasis, or a steady state of being. After a stress response, fluctuating hormones are meant to return to normal levels. However, when people experience chronic stress and anxiety, their bodies cant achieve homeostasis. This is often the case when a person has IBS.
Stress can wreak havoc on your gut. It causes the release of many hormones, including corticotropin-releasing factor . This hormone is linked to the guts healthy bacteria, which maintains bowel function. The extra CRF also activates your bodys immune response. While that may sound like a good thing, immune activity can have adverse effects, as is the case when a person has a strong allergic response to a healthy food.
Chronic stress can cause your intestinal bacteria to be imbalanced, a condition known as dysbiosis. According to an article in the
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Prevalence Of Psychological Comorbidities In Ibd
Psychological Comorbidities in Adult IBD
With the objective of exploring the bidirectional relationship, Sexton et al. assessed symptom activity, intestinal inflammation, and perceived stress using the Manitoba IBD Index, fecal calprotectin in the stool, and Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale at months 0, 3, and 6. Perceived stress at month 0 was found to be positively correlated with disease activity at months 3 and 6 in both UC and CD. Nevertheless, no correlation between intestinal inflammation, evaluated by fecal calprotectin and perceived stress, was found .
A total of 403,665 patients with depression and 5323,986 people without a history of depression were followed up for an average of 6.7 years. A total of 0.05% of the depression cohort developed CD, while 0.03% of individuals in the non-depression cohort developed CD. Furthermore, 0.13% of patients in the depression cohort developed UC, and only 0.09% of individuals in the non-depression cohort developed UC. Compared with the non-depression cohort, the unadjusted hazards of CD and UC in the depression cohort increased by 67 and 41%, respectively. After adjusting for various confounding factors, the risk of developing IBD remained significantly increased in the depression cohort .
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Relieving The Symptoms Of Ibs
There is no definitive cure for IBS but there are things you can do to manage your symptoms and how often you may experience a flare up.
Eating a healthy diet can be one of the most impactful things you can do to help relieve your IBS symptoms. However, remember that although some people find that increasing their fibre intake helps their symptoms, some find that it makes them worse.
Dr Seward has this suggestion as well, I usually recommend trying a food exclusion diet. This means that for two weeks at a time, you cut out a particular food, such as wheat or dairy. Its very important that you are thorough, and try one at a time, but food labelling makes this much easier nowadays.
If there is no improvement in your symptoms, reintroduce the food you have cut out and try cutting the next one out. If you methodically work your way through each particular food, you will hopefully identify the one that is upsetting your system, he adds.
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You Should Continue Other Ibs Treatments
Anxiety-easing strategies are just part of a complete IBS treatment plan. At Digestive Disorders Associates we may also recommend:
- Fiber supplements or laxatives if you have IBS with constipation
- Antispasmodic medication to control muscle spasms in the colon and reduce abdominal pain
- Dietary changes that may include avoiding dairy and carbonated beverages and eating smaller, more frequent meals
- A prescription medication known as Lotronex® for diarrhea
Exactly which therapies are right for you depends on your personal IBS symptoms and how often and severely they flare up. You work with our gastroenterologists to determine a course of treatment that matches your lifestyle and needs.
Anxiety is just one possible trigger for IBS. At Digestive Disorders Associates, we help identify all the possible reasons youre experiencing uncomfortable IBS symptoms and work to help you live as normal of a life as possible. in Annapolis, Maryland, or schedule online for an evaluation with one of our caring physicians.
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In most cases, sciatica pain feels like a shooting pain that starts from the lower back or the buttock. It radiates through the back or the front of the leg.
People have also reported it to be a burning sensation that can be felt throughout the leg. In other cases, patients have also reported a feeling of numbness.
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Best Over The Counter Gas And Bloating Medicine
There are several options to help manage the symptoms of bloating.
Depending on specific food triggers various digestive enzymes may be beneficial.
- Lactase supplements help you digest the sugar lactose in dairy products.
- A broad-spectrum digestive enzyme can be helpful if someone is unsure of a particular food trigger.
- Alpha-galactosidase a single digestive enzyme to help break down the carbohydrates in vegetables and beans.
Charcoal is a high absorbent mineral which may act as a sponge and help to reduce the level of gas in the digestive system by.
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Bending Over When Lifting Heavy Objects
Whether you are carrying groceries to your kitchen from your car, picking up your child from the bed, or moving flowerpots in your garden, you are placing large amounts of workload on your lumbar discs.
When your lumbar discs are overworked, there is an increased risk for developing herniated discs. This, in turn, can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve.
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Self Help Tips For Relieving Stress
If youre wondering if stress can cause hemorrhoids, then you may have already ruled out pregnancy, obesity or something else as the cause of your problem.
Lets think of stress-related hemorrhoids like the beast they are. Imagine a castle warding off an attack from a fire-breathing dragon . Your body is the castle, the stress in your life is the dragon, and your hemorrhoids are the burn of the dragons fiery breath.
Well, whats our plan of action? We could shore up our defenses, reinforcing our castle wall to stop the dragons breath from hurting us, but itd be best if we just went direct and lobbed the head off the dragon!
This is like whats going on with hemorrhoids, stress, and your burned-out bum. Instead of constantly reinforcing the castle , we should do all we can to get rid of the dragon .
Lets go straight to the source and learn some tips for relieving stress.
Will I Need A Colonoscopy
Depending on your symptoms, medical history and other factors, your provider may recommend a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to examine your colon in more detail. These two outpatient procedures are similar. The difference is that a sigmoidoscopy examines just the lower half of the colon. A colonoscopy examines the entire colon.
Heres what you can expect during a colonoscopy. Your provider will:
Often, providers can make an accurate diagnosis and even deliver treatment using a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a much less invasive procedure compared to an abdominal operation.
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Best Ways To Battle Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Get to know your triggers and ways to prevent flare-ups.
|Images: Thinkstock Irritable bowel syndrome may be due to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine or nerve problems.|
Cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are tough to handle at any time. But if a combination of these symptoms occurs over three or more months, you may have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome . It’s the most common diagnosis made by gastroenterologists, accounting for as many as 3.5 million physician visits per year. “I see someone with this condition every day,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.