Despite the fact that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which causes pain and rumbling in the abdomen has been studied for several decades, its causes are still unknown. Our irritable bowel syndrome guide will help you understand the most important points. How to live with IBS? Can you treat it forever?
What is irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition in which a person feels discomfort in the abdomen for at least three months a year, but surveys show that he has no health problems. Among the symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, and cramping. Each of them can manifest itself or alternate with others.
How is it diagnosed?
Earlier, the diagnosis was based on the residual principle when all other variants were excluded. Recently, the approach to diagnosis became more individual. For example, a young patient may pass a colonoscopy only if he has alarming symptoms, such as bloody stools or sudden decrease in weight. First, doctors usually prescribe a blood test.
What treatment is effective?
Although there has been some progress in the diagnosis of IBS, there have been no major changes in treatment for a long time. Some doctors still use long-acting symptomatic drugs, but they don’t really help. Not long ago a new drug appeared, more effective in the treatment of IBS with constipation, helping to get rid of pain, and not addictive.
There’s a link between irritable bowel syndrome and depression, anxiety, and obsessive states.
Since IBS can be a psychosomatic disorder, patients might need specific therapeutic and pharmacological support. For example, certain antidepressants not only improve mood and reduce anxiety, but also reduce pain and affect appetite.
What treatment does not help?
There have been attempts to use the anti-inflammatory drugs, but they were unsuccessful. Seems like quite popular FUDMAP and GAPS diets are absolutely useless, too. They might be effective in case of a syndrome of bacterial overgrowth which is similar in symptoms with IBS, but in case of irritable bowel syndrome both have only a slight symptomatic effect.