Are you finding that having to use the restroom frequently affects your daily life? Perhaps you too experience discomfort in your abdomen? If yes, you might have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, sometimes known as IBS. It is a condition that alters bowel habits and results in cramping and pain in the abdomen. It is known to be a functional bowel disorder and is not regarded as a disease. Dietary changes and a change in lifestyle can help you manage the symptoms.
At any age, it can occur. It frequently starts in adolescence or the early stages of adulthood. Additionally, it is less likely to start in those over 50. Women are twice as likely as males to get IBS.
How to know if you have Irritable bowel syndrome?
When you have IBS, you may notice certain things that trigger your symptoms. Common causes include some medication, foods and emotional stress.
To diagnose IBS, the doctor will inquire about your symptoms and search for a certain pattern in your symptoms. Having abdominal pain and two or more of the following symptoms may also indicate that you have IBS.
- Belly pain along with a change in bowel movements is the main symptoms of IBS.
- This includes diarrhea , constipation, or both.
- You may experience cramps in your belly or feel like your bowel movements aren’t finished.
- People feel gassy and observe that their abdomen is bloated.
- Frequent pain and continual going to the bathroom that can make life harder everyday.
- In women, it is common during their menstrual period.
- You notice a change in the way your stools look like.
What do stools look like with IBS?
If your stool changes in colour, shape, size, or consistency, we should be concerned. People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is characterised by variations in bowel movements and in the appearance of faeces, are prone to pay attention to the colour of their stools.
Stool appearance can change as a result of IBS, depending on whether you have constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C), diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D), or mixed-type IBS (IBS-M).
Stools can be:
- Hard, lumpy, and difficult to pass
- Soft, loose, and watery
- Filled with mucus
- Thin and pencil-like
The way your stool looks can vary depending on the type of IBS you have. The Bristol Stool Scale, which classifies faeces on a scale of 1 to 7, is used by doctors to show these changes:
- Type 1: Hard, separate pellets (severe IBS-C)
- Type 2: Lumpy and sausage-like (mild IBS-C)
- Type 3: Sausage-shaped with cracks (normal)
- Type 4: Smooth, soft, and sausage-like (normal)
- Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (mild IBS-D)
- Type 6: Mushy with ragged edges (moderate IBS-D)
- Type 7: Watery with no solid pieces (severe IBS-D)
Check the patient’s stools once a week if IBS has been diagnosed. If you frequently check your stools, you may notice changes in form, colour, or consistency that are not actually reflective of what is really going on with your health.
How do medical practitioners test for IBS?
The doctor might need some tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. This test may include the following:
Your blood sample will be taken by the doctor and sent to a lab. This is used to screen for illnesses other than IBS in you, such as anaemia, infections, and digestive issues.
You will receive a tiny container to collect and hold a stool sample. These stool tests are used to look for infections or other symptoms, such as blood in the stool. During a physical examination, the patient’s rectum might be checked to see whether there is blood in their stool.
In order to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be causing your IBS symptoms, doctors might also order further testing which may include the following:
- Blood or stool test results.
- If the patient has a family history of digestive diseases, such as celiac disease, colon cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Whether the patient has symptoms that could be signs of another condition or disease.
- Hydrogen breath tests check the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or problems in digesting certain carbohydrates, such as lactose intolerance.
- Upper GI endoscopy with a biopsy to check for celiac disease.
- Colonoscopy checks the possibility of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
- CT Scan your pelvic region can help the other possible causes of your suffering, such as pancreatic or gallbladder problems.
- Lower GI series (barium enema): x-ray of the large intestine to check for possible blockages.
- Upper GI series：X-rays of the upper digestive system with barium used for contrast.
Visit Transform Your Gut – IBS Recovery Clinic in Stockport, Manchester, if you need treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms. The clinic has the best and most competent medical practitioner to handle your health problems. You can make an appointment by calling 07712 620909 or by contacting here!