Irritable bowel syndrome or. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disease of the gastrointestinal and digestive organs. Flatulence and cramp-like stomach or abdominal pain are typical.
People with irritable bowel syndrome often complain of pain and a feeling of fullness.Flatulence and subjectively felt bloating are much more uncomfortable for those affected than for people without irritable bowel syndrome.
Of a Irritable bowel syndrome (Colon irritabile) is spoken when there is a functional disorder of the digestive tract, which manifests itself in chronic complaints such as abdominal cramps, irregular stool and flatulence. It is typical of irritable bowel syndrome that the problems usually occur during the day and not during the night and the doctor does not find any pathological changes in the organs or the biochemistry of the body.
Irritable bowel syndrome is not dangerous, but it is often very annoying for those affected and the quality of life is limited, as the intestine not only reacts to some foods in a bad mood, but also to stress. These restrictions, which are caused by the irritable bowel, usually last not only for days or months but sometimes for many years and the patient has to learn to come to terms with them.
The exact cause of this intestinal disorder is not yet known. It is believed that mental overload, caused by stress and anger, den Irritable bowel syndrome favored. The messenger substance serotonin is assigned an overriding key role here; it is responsible for the smooth flow of information between the brain and intestinal function.
Furthermore, food intolerances naturally play a major role in irritable bowel syndrome, as do eating behavior and diet (e.g. hectic eating, irregular meals).
The fact is that with irritable bowel the movement processes in the intestine are disturbed and the perception of the normal digestive process is already perceived as painful. Researchers found that patients with irritable bowel syndrome had increased numbers of white blood cells called leukocytes. This would indicate an inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and could therefore be a cause of the symptoms.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are very diverse. The exact symptoms allow a further typification of the suffering. For example, if the stool is predominantly soft, which occurs around three times a day, it is referred to as the diarrhea type. The constipation type is characterized by infrequent and hard bowel movements. There is also a mixed type, where hard bowel movements and diarrhea can take place in one day and irritable bowel syndrome without a subtype. The latter denotes generalized complaints.
People with irritable bowel syndrome often complain of pain and a feeling of fullness. Flatulence and subjectively felt bloating are much more uncomfortable for those affected than for people without irritable bowel syndrome. Some sufferers have a clearly visible bloated stomach. The pain is perceived as very strong.
They can take the form of abdominal pain and cramps. Often they can be described as piercing or pulling. A feeling of bloating often leads to tenderness. If there is pain, bowel movements are also more frequent.
The pain usually subsides after repeated defecation. However, the feeling of incomplete emptying often remains. Mucus may be added to the stool. As a rule, those affected are still symptom-free at night. Symptoms can worsen with stress and after eating.
Of the Irritable bowel syndrome usually occurs for the first time between the ages of 20 and 30 and is widespread; twice as often in women as in men.
In addition to the pain and cramps in the abdominal area, the following symptoms can also occur: alternating diarrhea or constipation, a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen, a changed stool composition (from hard to mushy to watery), flatulence, audible digestive noises, fatigue, poor concentration, anxiety, depression, Sleep disorders, migraines and back pain.
Anyone who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome is often under a lot of stress, as these complaints limit the overall quality of life and often last for a lifetime.
Irritable bowel syndrome usually does not lead to physical complications, even if it is chronic. In severe cases with diarrhea, the persistent loss of fluid can lead to dehydration, which can be prevented by drinking enough and adjusting your diet. Medical treatment can eliminate the risk of dehydration. Irritable bowel patients do not have an increased risk of further diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
If patients make changes to their diet or avoid selected foods without medical advice, weight gain or loss can result. Complications of a psychological nature occur regularly. The disease is often associated with fears, for example of colon cancer or consequential damage.
Depending on the severity, irritable bowel syndrome can lead to subjectively strongly perceived restrictions in the patient's everyday life, which cause restlessness, tension and anxiety. Patients suffer from a fear of not having access to a toilet or of appearing helpless in public if they suddenly experience symptoms. As a result, social isolation and depression can occur.
Other side effects can be sleep disorders, anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms. Feelings of shame, such as flatulence, can have negative effects on relationships or sex life.
People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome are often very limited in everyday life. All foods, especially fatty, spicy foods, cannot be digested properly in connection with the irritable bowel symptoms. Under certain circumstances, stabbing bulging pains may occur, which often occur immediately after consumption. A few minutes after the pain, diarrhea occurs, which can last for several hours. Anyone suffering from irritable bowel syndrome should always consult a doctor. Medicines can be used to effectively calm the intestines and gastric mucosa so that no pain occurs after eating the above-mentioned foods.
However, if those affected do not do so, then considerable consequences can be expected. The pain gets worse over time, so it persists even when you are at rest. In particularly bad cases, the gastric mucosa can even be permanently damaged, so that a surgical procedure is unavoidable.
As a cure of the Irritable bowel syndrome is not possible based on current knowledge, attempts must be made to alleviate the symptoms in order to restore the patient's quality of life. A holistic concept that combines changes in eating habits, the administration of medication and psychotherapeutic treatment can help. Since there is no uniform irritable bowel diet, every patient has to find out what is good for them and what is not; a food diary can help here.
The foods that are not well tolerated should of course be rigorously avoided in the case of irritable bowel syndrome. It has proven helpful to drink a sufficient amount per day, as this also has a positive effect on the intestinal mucosa. Relaxing and pain relieving preparations are available as medication for irritable bowel syndrome, but only for acute therapy; the tried and tested hot water bottle often helps.
Swelling agents for diarrhea (e.g. flea seeds), fiber (e.g. bran) for constipation and defoamers (e.g. Lefax) for flatulence. Herbal helpers for irritable bowel syndrome are primarily peppermint, chamomile, caraway and aniseed. Finally, with the help of progressive muscle relaxation, hypnosis and psychotherapy, an attempt can be made to curb the daily stress somewhat in order to relieve the irritable bowel.
Follow-up care following an acute irritable bowel disease should take into account the various triggering or aggravating factors. These include in particular diet and the avoidance of stress. In the case of chronic irritable bowel syndrome, patients should avoid the individual triggering or symptom-aggravating factors.
Food that can trigger or worsen symptoms should be avoided. These include, for example, wheat-based products, lactose-containing dairy products, foods with a high fructose content and foods with a high fat content. A cheap diet for people with irritable bowel syndrome includes cereal products, for example based on spelled, oats or rice, lactose-free dairy products, fruit with a low fructose content and sweeteners with a low fructose content.
If fats are used in food preparation, vegetable oils should be used. A nutrition or symptom diary can also help to structure the diet so that the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are contained in the long term.
Patients should also have check-ups at regular intervals. These include, for example, the preventive examinations as part of colon cancer screening. For people over 55 years of age, the costs of colonoscopies are largely covered by health insurance companies.
Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the diseases that are particularly susceptible to self-help in everyday life. Cooperation of the patient is not only possible here, but also expressly desired. Diet, exercise, stress relief, and other factors are important for optimal management of irritable bowel syndrome.
In the area of nutrition, the patient has to find out what is actually good for him. Of course, recommendations such as avoiding spicy, fatty or bloating foods are an important first step. However, patients can find out what is actually tolerated in individual cases through targeted observation, such as keeping a food diary. This is the basis for the gradual change in diet with regard to the irritable bowel symptoms of those affected. Adequate nutrition and avoiding alcohol and nicotine are often helpful in this context.
Exercise is an important factor in irritable bowel syndrome. It does so in two ways. On the one hand, being active stimulates the natural bowel movements efficiently and is almost always recommended as a self-help in everyday life. Stress relief is also an important factor when it comes to everyday life with irritable bowel syndrome. Because the intestine does not only react to food influences. Psychological components also play a role with regard to the acute condition. Therefore, irritable bowel therapy and coping with everyday life should always be designed as a holistic concept.