What Are The Signs, Symptoms And Solutions For IBS?

IBS is the short name for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and it is an extremely common disorder. 

IBS is the short name for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and it is an extremely common disorder. For many people, symptoms are mild and manageable and can include bloating, gas, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. On the contrary, it can lead to constipation for other people. This condition affects the large intestine.

While IBS is common it is less common to experience severe symptoms. For the most part, people can manage their symptoms on a daily basis and live a comfortable life. Dietary and lifestyle changes can make a huge difference as can any activity that helps reduce a person’s level of stress.
The signs and symptoms of IBS can be transient. A person may experience mild symptoms day-to-day and have a more severe “flare up” on occasion. These flare-ups may require medical attention. Severe diarrhoea or constipation coupled with pain and gas can be extremely uncomfortable and may lead to difficulties in performing basic everyday tasks.

In very rare cases IBS can be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition such as colon cancer. In these cases the diarrhoea may lead to weight loss, bleeding from the rectum and persistent pain and discomfort. It can also affect a person’s nutrition which could lead to deficiencies. It is important to speak to your GP if the issue persists and begins to affect your quality of life.

The exact cause of IBS is not known but there are several factors which may affect it and can be adjusted to help improve it. A person may notice that a particular food item (such as coffee, dairy or gluten) may trigger the IBS. This does not necessarily mean that the person is allergic or intolerant to that food but they may notice a connection and decide to adjust their diet accordingly. Anxiety and stress are also huge contributors. Many people find that IBS heightens and intensifies when there is something stressful happening in their lives.
Inflammation in the large intestine can lead to IBS. The muscles in this area contract to help food pass through the digestive tract. If these contractions come faster and stronger than the average person they can lead to bloating, gas and discomfort. The same can be said for contractions that happen very slowly. This can lead to painful hard stools.

You are more likely to experience IBS if you are a younger person. It also happens to be more common in females. Genetics may also play a role in determining the likelihood of a person experiencing the condition. Mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression are associated with the disorder also.

Aside from the physical discomfort associated with IBS, it can play a huge role in determining a person’s lifestyle and opportunities. IBS can lead to a person avoiding social occasions and work due to the anxiety and pain associated with the condition. While anxiety and depression can lead to IBS they can also worsen as a result of IBS making for very difficult circumstances. Counselling, mindfulness and light exercise can make a considerable difference.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

Read more by Tracey
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us