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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that primarily affects the large intestine (colon). "Diarrhea alternating with constipation" is one of the diagnostic characteristics of this disorder. Bloating and lower abdominal pain or heaviness are also seen in most cases.

No severe symptoms are reported in patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is no specific cause of IBS but the most common risk factors include:

  • Post-infectious IBS (after infection)

  • Stressful life events

  • A heavy workload

  • An unbalanced diet

  • Mature age

  • Oversleeping

As the name suggests, Irritable Bowel Syndrome causes an irritation of the large intestine. IBS can really interfere with a patient's daily life, constantly imposing a feeling of abdominal fullness and bloating. Patients suffering from IBS usually have the following symptoms:

  • Changing bowel habits (diarrhea alternating with constipation)

  • Abdominal fullness

  • Abdominal discomfort or pain

  • Bloating

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite) -- rare

Fortunately, Irritable Bowel Syndrome doesn't lead to severe complications because it does not cause an inflammation of the intestine. However, chronic constipation may cause hemorrhoids. Mucus or fats in stools (steatorrhea) is also seen in some cases. There is no specific cure for this disorder. The primary goal of the treatment is to relieve the patient from disturbing symptoms and prevent complications.

Eating habits: You are advised to change your eating habits if you experience constant rectal pressure. Your diet should be rich in fiber and you must drink more fluids. In the case of severe diarrhea, you are advised to use over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications (Imodium).

Exercise is the best non-pharmacological intervention to treat GIT symptoms. Try to add 4 hours of exercise per week to your routine. This will not only help you get relief from GIT symptoms, but will also help your body and your mind stay active.

Stay Happy: Happiness is the key to healthy living. IBS is strongly associated with stress. People who enjoy their lives are less likely to develop IBS. Medicines are indicated in cases where symptoms interfere with the daily life of the patient.

Surgical intervention is indicated in the case of severe complications such as hemorrhoids. Otherwise, this condition is treated with lifestyle changes, diet, and exercise. If a patient experiences disturbing symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, or a burning sensation in the stomach, they are advised to see their doctor and get an abdominal physical examination and some routine checkups. This is to rule out other gastrointestinal conditions that cause the same symptoms. If inflammation, infection, or ulcers are suspected, the doctor may advise an endoscopy but this is very rare.

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