Common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel movement is an unpleasant disorder which can be made even worse if managed poorly.

irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

Anything that concerns going number 2 is always unpleasant especially if it involves problems with it. We all know and have experienced some of these problems and they definitely an ordeal if there ever was one. So here is one of ‘those’ problems, everything you need to know about it and some tips on how to prevent it from happening.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder affecting the large intestine and can have several different causes and triggers. It’s a chronic condition and can be managed long-term.

Though the cause and triggers may vary, IBS affects 25 out 45 million Americans, most of them women. Although generally it is considered a non-threatening condition and usually doesn’t cause more digestive conditions to develop but it is a great inconvenience to people who suffer from it. But lifestyle and diet changes, medication and some counseling can help relieve and effectively manage your condition.

The Symptoms

Here are some of the signs to watch out for if you feel like you’re experiencing or are about to experience IRS.

  • Stomach pain and cramps – is one of the most common symptoms of IBS and is usually caused by miscommunication between the brain and the digestive system. The pain usually occurs in lower abdomen or the entire abdomen and usually decreases after bowel movement occurs.
  • Diarrhea – diarrhea-predominant IBS is one type of IBS and usually affects a third of IBS patients. Bowel movements tend to occur 12 times a week and stools often come out loose and watery.
  • Constipation – constipation-induced IBS is the most common type of IBS affecting about 50% of people who suffer from IBS and are caused by miscommunication between the brain and the digestive system much like diarrhea-induced IBS. Bowel movement usually occurs three times or less per week.Constipation-induced IBS may lead to straining because it cause a sensation of incompleteness in your bowel movement.
  • Bowel movement changes – bowel movement when experiencing IBS can either be too slow (which cause stool to become hard) or too fast (which causes the stool to become loose and watery) which worsens either constipation or diarrhea.
  • Food Intolerance – some patients who suffer from IBS reported food being a trigger for other symptoms in IBS. While the cause of this symptom is still unclear, they don’t really affect the condition of the digestive system at all.
  • Bloating – IBS usually causes the digestive system to produce more gaseous products which can cause bloating
  • Difficulty with sleep – some people who suffer from IBS report suffering from fatigue and difficulty in sleeping. Some studies link that poor sleep could worsen symptoms of IBS.
  • Anxiety and depression – though it is still unclear whether or not IBS is is a sign of mental stress or living with the disorder causes mental stress to patients, it is clear that mental stress worsens the other symptoms of IBS

The Cause

Although there are many symptoms that could possibly trigger IBS, the cause for this condition hasn’t been pinpointed as of yet.

Most speculate that it is caused by the colon developing hypersensitivity that overreacts in the mildest of stimulations that could send your digestive system into chaos.

Other think that it might have something to do with the chemicals not sending enough or proper nerve signals to the brain that causes miscommunication between the brain and the digestive system.

Bacteria and hormones have also come into play when it comes to finding out what might cause this condition.

The Cure

As of now, there are no known cures to treat the condition as the cause still isn’t known but there are ways to relieve pain or prevent symptom from happening when you are one of those suffering from the condition.

  • Diet Modification – can greatly help your bowel movements and improve the health of your digestive tract. Remember to avoid foods that are high in FODMAPS which are linked in the development and worsening of certain digestive disorders.
  • Medication – there are medications out there that can relieve pain and regulate bowel movement. Consult your doctor to get a better idea of what type of medication would suit you best.
  • Try Probiotics – are proven to improve the health of your digestive tract and promote healthy bowel movements. Eating food that are rich in probiotics will surely help your regulate your digestive system and manage the symptoms of your disorder better.
  • Drinking more fluids – is extremely important since bowel movement can cause dehydration.
  • Eating soluble fibers – fibers are known in aiding the digestion and promote healthy bowel movements so make sure to add lots of fiber to your diet.
  • Try laxatives – are great for people with constipation-induced IBS because they promote bowel movement. Try to use it sparingly as using too much may cause diarrhea.
  • Manage stress – there are various ways in which you can manage your stress. Whatever it may be, it would be a great help in managing your condition.


Irritable bowel movement is an unpleasant disorder which can be made even worse if managed poorly. Consulting your doctor and making the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle will definitely make your disorder more manageable and easy to live with.

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