What Causes IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Are You at Risk?


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a GI condition that can impact your life in many ways. Resulting in discomfort in the large intestine, stomach, and other areas of your digestive tract, irritable bowel syndrome often leads to painful and, at times, unfortunate symptoms.

At Digestive Health Center, we understand the unpleasant effect irritable bowel syndrome can have on your daily health, well-being, and standard of living. Our GI specialists regularly treat IBS in Thibodaux, LA individuals, and can help you manage its symptoms. Read on to learn the cause of irritable bowel syndrome and see if you are at risk of developing IBS.

How might irritable bowel syndrome develop?

The precise cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not known. It’s believed to result from a disruption between the brain (which controls gut function) and the gastrointestinal system, which is why many GI providers refer to this condition as “the brain-gut disorder.” This interruption could cause passage complications throughout a person’s digestive tract, causing the muscles to move food through the system either too quickly or too slowly. Irritable bowel syndrome is also called “spastic colon” as a result of the colon spasms that generally occur with IBS.

A number of elements may trigger IBS, like:

  • Spicy or fatty foods
  • Fluctuations in hormones
  • Stressful situations
  • Intestinal infections (bacterial or viral gastroenteritis)
  • Alcohol use
  • Changes in the microbial makeup of your intestines
  • Caffeinated beverages

Knowing IBS triggers and your likelihood of getting the condition helps you better manage your body’s response if ever you become diagnosed with IBS.

What are the risk factors of irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS is a complex GI condition. Therefore, multiple components could lead to the condition’s first appearance or recurrence. Factors that could magnify your risk of this condition can include:

  • Being a woman: Irritable bowel syndrome is twice as prevalent in women than men.
  • Mental health: Anxiety and depression may increase your chances of developing the condition.
  • Family history: Some individuals might be biologically at a greater risk of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Lifestyle choices: An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, alcohol and/or tobacco use, and obesity can all elevate your risk of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Age group: People of all ages can get IBS; however, it often is seen to begin during the teenage years or early adulthood. It is not as frequent in patients over 50 years of age.

If you worry you are at risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome or any other GI issues, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at a Digestive Health Center location in your community.

What are the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome markers often change from person to person. Traditionally, IBS symptoms in women may differ from IBS symptoms in men and can range in intensity. The majority of people who have the condition generally have minor symptoms. Many of the standard symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are:

In the event you have one or more of these symptoms or signs or detect a difference in your bathroom habits, you should consult with a GI specialist. Our gastroenterologists in Thibodaux, LA can analyze your concerns and symptoms to decide if irritable bowel syndrome is the culprit of your issues.

How is IBS treated?

Even though preventing IBS is not always possible, steps can be taken to help reduce its consequences. Handling IBS often involves the long-term management of symptoms to control the condition. Soothing symptoms and dealing with the condition could include lifestyle adjustments, including eating a high-fiber diet, getting plenty of water, daily exercise, and understanding and staying away from the IBS triggers. Some medications also help alleviate its effects, including anti-nausea, anti-diarrheal, antidepressant, and anticholinergic medicines. Fiber supplements or laxatives are often used to manage associated issues that are known to spark the condition.

Get IBS treatment in Thibodaux, LA

In addition to causing annoying symptoms, IBS makes many people feel uncomfortable and discouraged. It is important to remember that it is possible to attain relief from this often-chronic condition. The team of gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Center offers the proper care for this condition and will lead you or your loved one to an improved quality of life. To find out more about your risks, irritable bowel syndrome care, or to be assessed by a GI provider who can offer treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in Thibodaux, LA, get in touch with a location in your community to request an appointment.

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