Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It’s a medical term that gets thrown around a lot these days, and for good reason. This difficult disorder plagues between 25 and 45 million people in the United States alone.
But what is it, exactly? What are the causes, and what can we do to keep it under control? Continue reading to learn more.
IBS, In A Nutshell
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition within your gut that’s characterized by symptoms like abnormal bowel habits, indigestion, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. A typical patient can experience a variety of these symptoms over the span of their illness, which in most cases, can last for years. This isn’t the stomach flu or an upset stomach – it’s a gradual, long-winded experience that ebbs and flows over time.
What Causes IBS?
There are a number of things that can trigger IBS or IBS-like symptoms. However, according to a University of Gothenburg study, there is likely an inherent link between an imbalance of microbes in the digestive system, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
That’s because the millions of microbes that populate your gut are also the ones that guard against contamination. When there’s a disruption of how many “good bacteria” there are in your digestive system, your body is inherently left more susceptible to an overgrowth of less-friendly microbes, which do more harm than good to your body. The result: bloating, belly pain, gas, and more.
Basically, anything that depletes the number of beneficial microbes in your gut is going to pose a potential risk for IBS symptoms. Be on the lookout for the following:
- Infections of the gut
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers
How To Keep IBS At Bay
Though there is no cure to IBS, it is possible to keep its symptoms at bay and improve your quality of life as a result. Through dietary and lifestyle changes, many are able to live more normal lives. For example, eating healthier foods on a regular basis will provide your body with a much easier time when digesting. Try avoiding foods high in sugar or processed goods – they end up feeding those “bad bacteria” which could end up causing an imbalance. Additionally, if you’re experiencing IBS and live in a high-stress environment, a change of scenery may do you some good.
Basically, take any actions you can to help the beneficial microbes in your gut stay strong. They’re your first line of defense against IBS, after all.
Take Back Your Gut Health!
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