The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) can be very puzzling; they're not there all the time, they come and go, and they're often never the same.
Here is a list of symptoms that people with irritable bowel syndrome may experience:
An individual with IBS may experience just a few of these symptoms, or all of them.
For people who suffer symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, pain is often triggered by eating and may be relieved by a bowel movement.
A major characteristic is fluctuating transit time. When food travels too quickly through the digestive system, it's obvious that it cannot be fully digested. The undigested particles then irritate the gut, causing it to empty suddenly.
Fierce episodes of diarrhea can be followed by a period of intense impasse when in response to excessive bowel activity everything literally comes to a standstill and solidifies - that is, until the next episode of manic movements.
Because of the pain, diarrhea, nausea and sometimes severe headaches and even vomiting, a person with IBS symptoms may dread eating.
Even if an individual with IBS eats normally, malnutrition may result because nutrients often are not absorbed properly. As a result people with IBS require as much as 30% more protein than normal, as well as an increased intake of minerals and trace elements, which can quickly be depleted by diarrhoea.
No matter what type of IBS you have, the underlying problem is that the rhythm of intestinal muscle contractions (called peristalsis) periodically gets messed up.
Read more on the Causes of IBS
There is no test for messed-up intestinal contractions, however, and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are common to many other diseases, so arriving at a diagnosis of IBS is lengthy and full of guesswork.
The diagnosis of IBS is usually made in the absence of other physical evidence of gut disease.
In fact the condition is thought to be a functional one rather than a structural or biochemical change in the bowel, because it doesn't cause permanent damage, it doesn't progress to serious illness, and it can usually be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes.
So it's necessary for the doctor to rule out other disorders that can cause similar symptoms, such as Chron's disease, depression, diverticulitis, endometriosis, fecal impaction, food poisoning, infectious diarrhea, ischemic or ulcerative colitis and lactose intolerance.
If there are no other problems, it's IBS by default.
next few pages will discuss which healing foods are suitable to prevent
flare-ups and which ones are more likely to cause them. Select one from the list below for your next reading.
Treat IBS naturally, safely and permanently by giving your body what it needs. READ MORE
A combination of herbs designed to calm the symptoms of IBS.
Peppermint Complex combines plant oils to help maintain the health and tranquillity of the digestive system including peppermint, ginger,
fennel, chamomile and cardamom.