Irritable Bowel Syndrome (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of IBS?
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IBS affects each person differently. The hallmark of IBS in adults and children is abdominal discomfort or pain. The following signs and symptoms also are common:
Though not a symptom of IBS, indigestion affects up to 70% of people with IBS.
The following are NOT signs and symptoms or characteristics of IBS (but should still be brought to the attention of a health-care professional since they may be signs and symptoms of other conditions):
Who Gets IBS?
Risk factors for IBS include:
Are IBS and IBD the Same Bowel Condition?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not the same condition. Technically, IBS is not a disease, but rather a functional disorder (abnormal function of the bowels) that results in a group of symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease can have similar symptoms, but IBS is less serious than IBD. IBS does not cause inflammation, intestinal bleeding, rectal bleeding, ulcers, permanent damage to the intestines, or complications that can occur with IBD.
When Should You Seek Medical Care for IBS?
If a person has any of the symptoms of IBS as discussed previously, or if a person with known IBS has unusual symptoms, a health-care professional should be consulted. Go to a hospital emergency department if problems are severe and/or come on suddenly.
How Do You Know If You Have IBS - Tests?
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IBS can be difficult to diagnose. IBS is called a diagnosis of exclusion, which means a doctor considers many other alternatives first, performing tests to rule out other medical problems. Some of these tests may include laboratory studies, imaging studies (such as a CT scan or small intestinal X-rays), and endoscopy and/or colonoscopy). An endoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible tube with a tiny camera at one end is passed into the GI tract while the patient is under conscious sedation. A combination of history, physical examination, and selected tests are used to help diagnose irritable bowel syndrome.
Two relatively new blood antibody blood tests may help doctors and other medical specialists diagnose irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea or IBS-D, and irritable bowel syndrome mixed or IBS-M (irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and diarrhea).
These new blood tests are for anti-CdtB and anti-vinculin antibodies, which researchers believe, are thought to develop in some patients after having had acute) acute gastroenteritis caused by several different, common types of bacteria. The overgrowth of these bacteria in the gut may trigger an immune attack on the patients’ own intestinal tissues (autoimmunity) with the ensuing inflammation and damage to the tissues, which causes IBS symptoms.
This test also may help doctors distinguish between IBS and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), a very different type of intestinal disease that may involve the immune system.
The test appears to be of use in diagnosing patients with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea IBS-D, but not IBS with constipation (IBS-C). The tests appear to be specific, and if the antibodies are present, it is highly likely that the patient has IBS. However, the tests are insensitive, which means that if the antibodies are not present, the patient still may have IBS. Thus, the tests may be identifying only a subset of individuals with IBS, those with post-infectious IBS. The FDA has not approved irritable bowel syndrome, nor have they undergone rigorous scientific examination for effectiveness. The test expected to cost from $500 to over $1,000.
What Natural Home Remedies and Diet Changes Treat and Relieve IBS Symptoms?
Most people with IBS have symptoms only occasionally and the following measures may treat or soothe symptoms during a flare:
Other home remedies to soothe and lessen IBS symptoms include:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/22/2017
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Symptoms
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Experience
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Foods to Avoid
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Medications
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Preventive
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