Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a common disorder of the large intestine. It is a condition that can be embarrassing at times; however, it can be treated. Some people believe that IBS can cause changes in your bowel tissue and increase your chances of getting colorectal cancer; however, these are just myths. Our staff at Nichols Chiropractic in Manhattan, KS, can help alleviate the discomfort caused by the syndrome.
What Causes IBS?
While the exact cause of this condition is unknown; however, there are certain factors that play a role in the condition.
- Muscle contractions in the intestines
- Abnormalities in the nerves of your digestive system
- Inflammation in the intestines
- A severe bout of gastroenteritis
- Changes in the bacteria in your gut
What Are the Symptoms of IBS?
The symptoms of IBS and the severity vary from person to person. The symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain, bloating and cramping. These are often relieved after a bowel movement or by passing gas.
- Excessive gas
- Alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation
- Mucus in the stools
What Can Trigger IBS Symptoms?
If you suffer from IBS, there are certain things that can trigger an attack. These include:
- Food: Dairy products, citrus fruits, cabbage, wheat, and carbonated drinks can trigger symptoms.
- Stress: IBS symptoms can flare up when you are under stress.
- Hormones: Women are more likely to develop IBS, and the symptoms can flare up during or around your period.
How Is IBS Diagnosed?
There is no medical test to determine if you have IBS. Your doctor can diagnose the condition using your medical history, by performing a physical exam, and by performing tests to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. Your doctor may want to take a stool sample and perform a colonoscopy.
How Is IBS Treated?
There is no cure for IBS; however, there are treatment methods available to relieve your symptoms so that you can live a normal life.
- Diet and lifestyle changes: Eating a high fiber diet, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can reduce the frequency of your IBS flareups.
- Fiber supplement
- Anti-diarrhea medications
- IBS specific medications (Lotronex, Viberzi, Xifaxan, Amitiza, and Linzess)
How Can a Chiropractor Help With IBS?
Studies have shown that autonomic nervous system dysfunction can contribute to IBS. Spinal manipulation can help the nervous system properly communicate with your organs and other body systems. This can help with IBS. Also, your intestinal tract is filled with nerves. If one of these nerves is pinched, it can result in IBS. A chiropractor can help release the pressure on the nerves, also helping with IBS.