There are many different theories regarding the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In people with IBS, there may be a malfunction in the nerve pathways that relay signals from the brain to the intestines, resulting in painful muscle spasms in the small intestine and colon. Spasms in the intestines and colon can result in diarrhea. The reverse may also occur, resulting in painful bouts of constipation. Constipation often leads to bloating and general abdominal discomfort can become be troubling. Irritable bowel syndrome may also lead to extremely sensitive intestines that react to certain triggers such as foods or bacteria. In some cases, treatment involves avoiding foods triggers that cause symptoms.
The foods triggers and sensitivities in people with IBS vary from person to person and therefore the foods that are avoided may be different for each person. The symptoms and their severity vary with each patient. Common triggers are stress and certain foods, including:
Irritable bowel syndrome can be a debilitating disease. It can adversely affect a person's quality of life. Once a person has identified their individual symptoms and triggers, they can take the necessary steps to control the disorder. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and depend on the trigger. Managing the diet and avoiding trigger foods is the first step in managing IBS. The patient and doctor must work hand in hand to create a diet plan that provides adequate nutrition while limiting the trigger foods. A nutritionist may also be involved in the treatment plan. Close monitoring and care from your provider at the Gastro Center of Maryland can eliminate symptoms and improve one’s quality of life.