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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  1. In irritable bowel syndrome, the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract is disturbed. This is a chronic condition without a clear cause. The syndrome can be recognized by complaints such as abdominal pain or cramps, problems with bowel movements, flatulence and a distended stomach. Various treatments and an appropriate diet can alleviate the complaints.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in English, is a chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, especially of the colon. IBS is considered one of the so-called functional gastrointestinal complaints. This means that the functioning of the intestines is disrupted, without any disease being the cause of this. One speaks of an 'irritable bowel' if it is too mobile or sensitive. Patients may experience spasms or cramps in their gut. In more than 60 percent of cases, the nerves of the intestinal wall are hypersensitive when it expands. This manifests itself in particular in abdominal pain or abdominal cramps, but also problems with the stool, such as diarrhea or constipation (constipation). A bloated feeling and flatulence are also common complaints. Irritable bowel syndrome does not always have a clear cause, but there are treatments that can reduce the complaints. Many patients also report that the right diet can be beneficial.

  2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in English, is a chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, especially of the colon. IBS is considered one of the so-called functional gastrointestinal complaints. This means that the functioning of the intestines is disturbed, without there being any disease to be the cause of this. One speaks of an 'irritable bowel' if it is too mobile or sensitive. Patients may experience spasms or cramps in their gut. In more than 60 percent of cases, the nerves of the intestinal wall are hypersensitive when it expands. This manifests itself in particular in abdominal pain or abdominal cramps, but also problems with the stool, such as diarrhea or constipation (constipation). A bloated feeling and flatulence are also common complaints. Irritable bowel syndrome does not always have a clear cause, but there are treatments that can reduce the complaints. Many patients also report that the right diet can be beneficial.

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  1. Irritable bowel syndrome is not a disease, but a condition with certain related complaints. These complaints can have various causes, such as: infection with an intestinal parasite a fungal infection, such as Candida intestinal inflammation a lack of pancreatic enzymes abnormal intestinal flora, for example with too many yeasts a chronic bile disease

Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

  1. IBS is accompanied by various complaints. The most common are: stomach ache stomach cramps constipation diarrhea abdominal distension / bloating flatulence IBS can also cause more general complaints that you may not immediately associate with your intestines, such as an upset stomach, bladder problems, headache, fibromyalgia, fatigue, pain in the side or back, or pain during intercourse. Although irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition, not everyone experiences continuous complaints. This can vary from person to person and from day to day. Periods without complaints are also very possible. The severity of the complaints also differs per person. Most people with IBS indicate that their diet can reduce or worsen symptoms.

  2. IBS is accompanied by various complaints. The most common are: stomach ache stomach cramps constipation diarrhea abdominal distension / bloating flatulence IBS can also cause more general complaints that you may not immediately associate with your intestines, such as an upset stomach, bladder problems, headache, fibromyalgia, fatigue, pain in the side or back, or pain during intercourse. Although irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition, not everyone experiences continuous complaints. This can differ per person and from day to day. Periods without complaints are also very possible. The severity of the complaints also differs per person. Most people with IBS indicate that their diet can reduce or worsen symptoms.

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

  1. To diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, a doctor uses the so-called Rome IV criteria. This means, among other things, that your complaints are diagnosed as IBS if they last for at least six months and no other cause can be found. In addition, you must have had abdominal pain on average once a week in the past three months for IBS to occur. According to the Rome IV criteria for IBS, there must also be two of the three following complaints: stomach pain associated with your bowel movements change in the frequency of your bowel movements: diarrhea, constipation, or an alternation between the two change in the shape of your stool: too watery or hard To diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, the doctor can also perform a physical examination and, for example, see how your stomach feels. Sometimes blood tests and stool tests can help diagnose IBS. This can rule out other possible causes of the complaints. The doctor can also look at your diet and any psychological or emotional complaints that may worsen the symptoms. The complaints that occur with IBS have much in common with those of other gastrointestinal disorders, such as celiac disease (gluten hypersensitivity), chronic inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer. A doctor can conduct additional tests to determine whether it is irritable bowel syndrome or another, possibly more serious, condition. This usually requires an internal examination in the hospital. Be sure to contact your doctor if your stool changes suddenly, if the symptoms suddenly start after your fiftieth, if you lose blood or weight, have a fever or have severe pain, even during the night.

  2. To diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, a doctor uses the so-called Rome IV criteria. This means, among other things, that your complaints are diagnosed as IBS if they last for at least six months and no other cause can be found. In addition, you must have had abdominal pain on average once a week in the past three months for IBS to occur. According to the Rome IV criteria for IBS, there must also be two of the three following complaints: abdominal pain associated with your stool change in the frequency of your bowel movements: diarrhea, constipation, or an alternation between the two change in the shape of your stool: too watery or hard To diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, the doctor can also perform a physical examination and, for example, see how your stomach feels. Sometimes blood tests and stool tests can help diagnose IBS. This can rule out other possible causes of the complaints. The doctor can also look at your diet and any psychological or emotional complaints that may worsen the symptoms. The complaints that occur with IBS have much in common with those of other gastrointestinal disorders, such as celiac disease (gluten hypersensitivity), chronic inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer. A doctor can conduct additional tests to determine whether it is irritable bowel syndrome or another, possibly more serious, condition. This usually requires an internal examination in the hospital. Be sure to contact your doctor if your stool changes suddenly, if the symptoms suddenly start after your fiftieth, if you lose blood or weight, have a fever or have severe pain complaints, even during the night.

Risk factors / groups

  1. IBS occurs in quite a few people, but not everyone goes to the doctor with these complaints. This may concern 5 to 15 percent of the Dutch. Irritable bowel syndrome is more common in women. About 75 percent of the people who suffer from it are female. Most people with IBS complaints are between 15 and 65, but the syndrome also occurs in children. In some families the complaints are more common. Stress and psychological problems can be risk factors, as can hypersensitivity or allergies to certain foods, such as: gluten wheat starch lactose IBS complaints are also more common in overweight people.

Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

  1. Various treatments are possible to limit the IBS complaints. Depending on the nature of the complaints, you can opt for: nutritional supplements medicines for diarrhea or constipation remedies that limit cramps probiotics Many people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome recover from an appropriate diet. The Maag Lever Bowel Foundation recommends, for example, the so-called FODMAP diet, which you can try out under the guidance of a dietician. If the doctor suspects that your IBS symptoms are caused by psychological problems, such as stress, anxiety or depression, you may also benefit from different types of therapies or exercises that improve your mood and provide relaxation, such as psychotherapy and meditation.]

Forecast

  1. Irritable bowel syndrome can affect your life to a great extent. Because it has no clear cause, it is often difficult to predict what your complaints will produce. Because you don't really look sick, there is not always much understanding of your environment for your condition. Fortunately, there are many treatments possible to reduce your complaints and an appropriate diet can also yield good results. So you can do everything yourself to learn to live with it better. In addition, it is nice to know that IBS is not life-threatening. Neither does the syndrome increase the risk of other intestinal disorders. A Ben Witteman is a gastrointestinal liver specialist specializing in irritable bowel syndrome. In the podcast below, he explains what you can do about an irritable bowel, for example by eating differently. A Sources)

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