Everyone experiences some sort of bowel discomfort at least once in their lifetime. However, in the case of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is shortly called as IBS, this sort of discomfort will be more frequent at least once in a month without any apparent explanation or with lesser explanation. Even though, it is true that IBS in not a life-threatening issue, it can certainly bring down the quality of life of individuals by disturbing both their professional and personal life.
Symptoms of IBS:
Generally, the symptoms of this condition will vary widely from one patient to another. However, most of them experience stomach discomfort, bloating and cramping. While some patients experience constipation, some might have diarrhea or even some might experience both diarrhea and constipation alternatively.
Four subtypes to know:
Health care providers generally categories Irritable Bowel Syndrome into four subtypes and each of these type is defined by the consistency of the stool during an episode. Understanding the kind of IBS from which a patient suffers will help the doctor in identifying the possible triggers, so that appropriate treatment can be prescribed. Here is the explanation for the four kinds of IBS:
1. IBS with constipation:
Patients with this condition will have hard stools for more than 25 times. These patients do not experience watery stools very often, which will be generally experienced less than 25 percent of times.
For patients falling under this category, doctors will suggest adding more fiber to the diet of the patient such that they can get out of the constipation issue. They can take daily supplements or can include more whole grains in their diet. When fiber content is increased in the diet, they will experience softening of the stool, resulting in easier excretion.
2. IBS with Diarrhea:
This is completely opposite as against the above-mentioned subtype of IBS. These patients will experience watery stools for more than 25 percent of the time. They hardly experience constipation or hard stool.
Different factors can play role towards bringing down the occurrence of diarrhea. Doctors may recommend these patients to take frequent and lesser quantity of foods. They also look for food sensitivity as foods with artificial sweeteners, spicy foods and dairy products can increase the occurrence of loose stool in patients.
3. Mixed type of IBS:
Some patients do not fall under both the above-mentioned categories. They experience an equal mix of diarrhea and constipation both for more than 25% of times. In this kind, it becomes important to identify the triggers for either extreme, so that a balanced treatment can be given to the patient. In addition, the following things may be suggested to these patients:
• Stress avoidance becomes important
• Necessary changes in the diet should be done
• It is better to get prescription based laxatives and anti-diarrheal medications. This will ensure that there will be appropriate medication in hand to handle each of these episodes.
Patients falling under this kind will not experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, but they will experience issues like passing of mucus, gas, bloating, pain and abdominal discomfort. However, these patients will not experience stool irregularities. This kind of IBS is less common as compared to the other three types. However, treatment involves identifying the triggers and providing appropriate treatment.