irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, signs, causes and treatment

irritable bowel syndrome or IBS in short is a common case that affects people of both genders, all ages and ethnics. symptoms of ibs include abdomenal pain, gases and bloating and change of bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation or alteration between them)

irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms

1 : abdomenal pain

main symptoms of ibs, the pain vary in its nature, location, severity and period. it can be colicky pain like cramps come and go, upset or dull pain the patient can not explained it, like knives in the abdomen or just discomfort in the belly.

the pain can be anywhere all over the abdomen but the most spicific is under the chest marginĀ  and concentrate at the left upper quadrant, it becomes less with defication or leak wind out the rectum

the pain can happen at any time of the day but it is usually happen or increase after meals, and precepitated by stress or some kind of foods like peans, alcohol or spicy food

2 : bloating

or distintion because of the gases filling the colon, in some pateints the amount of gases are within normal limits but there is a hyper-sinsivity to these gases, the abdomen gases increase the pain and causes sounds can be heard from other persons causing embarrising

3 : changes in bowel habits

the changes in bowel habits means the frequncy and consisency of stool, and it categorised irritable bowel syndrome to three types : the first is irritable bowel syndrom with constipation which means that the patient suffering from hard stool most of the time, this type is the most common, the second is irritable bowel with diarrhea and that mean more frequently and or less consistent stool, diarrhea usually happen after meals, and the third is alteration between constipation and diarrhea

4 : ibs symptoms out of digestive system include the symptoms not limited to the abdomen and these includes: chest pain which some times looks like heart attack, fatigue, palpitation and headache

ibs causes

the real causes of irritable bowel syndrome does not determined yet but there are many factors that cause the symtoms to appear or increased, these factors are not the same for all people and even in the same person can be more than one triggor or factor, but in general there is a common triggors include:

  • stress: large percentage of people with ibs mention that thier symptoms appear on circumstances of stress like interviews, examination, loos jobs, loos a relative or dear friends, devorce, lack of sleep …etc. these circumstances may triggor the symptoms or make them worse. on the opposite of that many patiens mention that symptoms and signs disappeare or become less in holidays and vacations
  • food: the kind of food plays an important role in ibs symptoms, this vary from one peson to another which means if some foods good for you maybe not good for anothers, so every one with ibs must notice the things he eats and cause his symtoms worse. but in general bad ones include fatty foods, beans, chocolate, cabbage, milk for patient with lactose intolerance, and alcohole
  • ocexsitance of other cases: such as gatroenterites, chronic disease like hypertension(elevated blood pressure), depression
  • genetics: may play a role because some famillies have more than one member with the diease
  • gender: irritable bowel syndrome appears more in female than males

diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome

the diagnosis of IBS basicly made by a clinical assesment in most cases deppending on detailled history of signs, symptos and physical examination, in some cases the picture maybe not clear enough to make the diagnosis so doctor may order some invistigation to put the acurate diagnosis or to rule out other cases that looks like IBS, cases that need more invistigation include:

  1. patients older than 50 years
  2. rectal bleeding
  3. family history of colon cancer
  4. symptoms persist despite good treatment
  5. weight loss not explained by other reasons

these invistigation includes one or more of the following:

  • abdomen ultrasound (echo): simple, fast and noninvasive prossidure
  • stool examination (hemoclot) to see if there any blood in the stool
  • colonoscopy : it is a flexible tube with small camera in the front inserted into the colon to inspect the inner linning of it
  • CT scan or MRI rarely needed

treatment : comming soon