Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is often described as a disease that does not behave like one disease with a single set of causes. If all other causes of a gastrointestinal condition are eliminated, IBS is often the final diagnosis. More than forty million people in the USA alone are affected by IBS. There could be the main cause of this disease or a combination of causes that could be unique to an individual. The signs of the disease range from abdominal pain and cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhoea/constipation or a combination of both. This disease needs long term management and there are no easy fixes that many drug companies would want you to believe. Drugs can manage the symptoms but more knowledge about underlying causes can help us understand the condition at the basic level.
1. Reduction of Microbial Diversity in Gut: The gut of a human being contains a complex diversity of trillions of microorganisms that influence the metabolism, physiology and other functions.
Research on the microbial diversity in our intestines, called our gut-microbiome, has concluded that there is sufficient evidence that a disruption of the gut-biome can cause IBS or worsen it's symptoms. Studies have shown that this dysbiosis of the gut biome has very often been seen in individuals having IBS.
Intake of antibiotics is widely believed to be the major cause of dysbiosis of the gut. Therefore, if the gut is lacking in diversity of microbes, it could be a reason for the onset of IBS.
2. Sensitivity to foods: Food sensitivity is another known cause of IBS. Elimination diets can be used to find out which foods are causing the condition. Special diets could be formulated for such individuals.
3. SIBO: Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can occur if the bacteria from the large intestine enter into the small intestine. This can cause many symptoms of IBS to appear like bloating, abdominal pain and gas. Bowel movements get affected also. Chronic diarrhoea, constipation or a combination of both can occur.
4. Stress: Stress is something everyone is dealing with in one way or the other way. The best way is to dodge it although one cannot completely get rid of it. If you are constantly in a state of stress especially during meals, it can affect digestion to a great extent. One produces lesser digestive enzymes which are required for the proper function of the digestive system. Stress will affect how your food moves down your alimentary canal through the stomach and then to the intestines and inadequate bodily functions can lead to symptoms of IBS such as diarrhoea and constipation.
5. Nervous system issues: If the nerves in your guts function abnormally, your digestive tract may cause you to experience stomach and abdomen pain when your abdomen stretches due to gas or stool. IBS specialists in London believe that the signal coordination between the brain and the gut can cause your body to overreact to changes in your alimentary canal leading to Irritable bowel syndrome.
6. Hormones: An imbalance in hormones can lead to the onset of IBS symptoms. This has been particularly seen in females before and after the monthly menses because of the hormonal behaviour at those particular times.
IBS can cause a lot of anxiety because of its unknown and unpredictable nature. It is best to be as careful as possible with the triggers. One should be aware of as many triggers as possible. Every person reacts differently to various triggers and everyone can have different reasons for IBS.
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