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Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Plan

Feel any regular pain or irregularities around your stomach area?

You might have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects nearly 7-16 percent of Americans.

Although irritable bowel syndrome tends to affect more women and young people, the symptoms are not felt the same across the board. While some people experience minor symptoms, others might have symptoms that get in the way of their daily life. 

Today at AG Urgent Care, we’ll let you know the basics of what irritable bowel syndrome is, what the most common symptoms are, its main causes, and how you can seek treatment for relief. 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder of the large intestine, which is a tube-like organ that helps digest and process the food you eat. The signs of IBS often include cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and more. Although this condition is chronic, it can be controlled by diet and lifestyle changes. More severe cases can be treated with medication and individualized plans by healthcare professionals at AG Urgent Care. 

What are the Most Common Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms?

The most common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Gas

IBS symptoms are not always consistent. Some can arise with bowel movements and end after, only to appear again later on. However, they do have common underlying causes and triggers. Learning more about what contributes to IBS can help you identify the starting points of a lifestyle change. 

What are the Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

While the exact causes of IBS aren’t known, there are several factors involved, including: 

  • Abnormal Muscle Contractions. The layers of muscle along the walls of your large intestine contract as food passes through. When the contractions become stronger and longer than normal, symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea can arise. Weak contractions on the other hand can also lead to constipation.
  • Abnormal Nervous System. Uncoordinated signals relayed between the brain and your intestines can cause your body to overreact to what goes on in the digestive process. This results in a variety of symptoms such as abdominal pain and discomfort. 
  • Post-Infection. IBS can occur after a surplus of bacteria or a virus in the intestines causes a more serious bout of diarrhea or overgrowth. 
  • Severe Stress. Those who have experienced stressful events while they were younger tend to exhibit more symptoms of IBS. 
  • Unusual Gut Microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is crucial for a functioning large intestine. However, when changes to the bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the area occur, the symptoms of IBS begin to appear. 

How Can I Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

If your symptoms begin to affect your daily life, you should consider speaking with a healthcare professional. More serious symptoms should also prompt that you seek out treatment, including: 

  • Persistent pain that continues after a bowel movement or gas passage
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting

At AG Care, our healthcare specialists are experienced in delivering treatment which provides symptom relief. They can help you develop a personalized plan that includes medications, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. Together, you’ll examine your diet, physical activity, stress management, and other factors. Ready to reduce IBS’s impact on your daily life? Don’t hesitate to check in online to one of our centers in Brooklyn and Queens to 

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.