Irritable bowel syndrome, or hyperactivity of the large intestine, is a set of symptoms and ailments caused by excessive excitability of the intestine. It manifests itself with severe abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea and flatulence.
What is irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disease of the small and large intestine manifested in the form of abdominal pain and bowel movements that are not caused by organic or biochemical changes. By organic changes is meant structural (anatomical) damage to the intestines, and by biochemical changes defects in metabolic processes.
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome has not been fully explained. The most important factors playing a role in the development of this disease include:
- impaired motor function of the intestine,
- visceral hypersensitivity,
- cerebral intestinal disorders,
- infection diarrhea.
Motor activity of the intestines, also called peristalsis, involves the alternating contraction and relaxation of the intestinal musculature, thanks to which the nutrient content moves from the stomach to the end of the large intestine. This process takes place unconsciously and is subject to strict nervous and hormonal control. In irritable bowel syndrome, peristalsis is disturbed, which is manifested by diarrhea (with too fast peristalsis) or constipation (with slow peristalsis).
What are irritable bowel syndromes
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be quite confusing. Most often, we do not associate them with disorders in the functioning of the intestines and see the causes elsewhere. Therefore, making the correct diagnosis requires a number of specialized tests to exclude serious, often life-threatening, diseases, e.g. gastrointestinal cancers.
Diagnosis of IBS is based on the frequency of specific symptoms. This means that there are no tests that give an unambiguous result and can be the basis for diagnosing this disease. For the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, it is necessary to have abdominal pain and other ailments typical of IBS for a minimum of 3 days a month, for a period of at least 3 months; it is also necessary to exclude other causes of troublesome symptoms.
When should you see a doctor
Patients should watch their body. An abnormal bowel movement and frequent abdominal pain may indicate serious organic illness, including cancer. If the above-mentioned symptoms persist or systematically recur – seek medical attention. He will assess whether this is irritable bowel syndrome or another digestive disease. Swallowing problems, continuous vomiting, weight loss, anemia and gastrointestinal bleeding (especially in patients over 40 years of age) are particularly worrying. Don’t wait and ignore the symptoms.
Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome should take place after consulting a doctor and under his supervision, usually it is long-lasting
The basis of treatment is to restore the interaction of the central nervous system with the autonomic. Drug treatment is good to support stress avoidance, a regular lifestyle, a proper diet eliminating food that intensifies symptoms.