Understanding the causes and symptoms of IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not a disorder in itself, but it is a group of symptoms that include abdominal pain, fluctuations in bowel movements, diarrhea, and constipation among many others. The symptoms and causes of IBS will depend on the severity of the condition and the root source of the trigger.

  • Genetics can be one of the causes of IBS. If anyone in the family has previously suffered from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, there is a chance that the disorder can be genetically passed down. Such cases are not so common when compared to other triggers and factors.
  • Apart from genetics, hormonal changes can also trigger developing symptoms. These changes commonly affect women, and it can be experienced during a normal menstrual cycle.
  • An infection or physical trauma can lead to developing symptoms that cause IBS.
  • Colonic motility is one of the main causes of IBS. This condition results in severe muscle contractions in the colon, causing problems in the intestinal and digestive tracts. Associated triggers that lead to symptoms and causes of IBS include increased sensitivity to food, though no particular foods have been necessarily identified as triggers of IBS.
  • Common infections of the digestive tract, such as Salmonella, can lead to developing symptoms of IBS.
  • Certain psychological triggers that include stress and anxiety are the leading symptoms and causes of IBS.
  • Side effects of certain medications, specifically certain types of antibiotics, can also lead to IBS.

Symptoms of IBS

  • The most common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome includes changes in bowel movement patterns. Bowel movements may occur more often, indicating diarrhea, or may not occur at regular intervals, indicating constipation.
  • Size and consistency of bowel movements will also indicate the severity of developing symptoms and causes of IBS.
  • Associated symptoms of changes in bowel movement patterns include bloating and gas problems due to diarrhea or even constipation for that matter.
  • Intestinal gas and passing mucus in your stools is also a clear indicator of developing symptoms.
  • IBS mostly affects the gastrointestinal tract. However, there are non-gastrointestinal symptoms that can be associated with this syndrome. These commonly include anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, and backaches.
  • Insomnia due to these associated symptoms will tend to affect normal sleep patterns and interfere with the much-needed rest for the body to recover from post-treatment withdrawal symptoms.
  • Although uncommon, sexual problems can also be symptoms of IBS, which could result in pain during performance or even affect your desire to perform, depending on the severity of the condition.
  • Since the disorder is mainly associated with the digestive tract, urinary symptoms like the frequent need or urge to urinate, or even trouble emptying your bladder can all be indicators of developing symptoms and causes of IBS.

Proper diagnosis will lead to a better understanding of the causes, associated symptoms and the necessary course of treatment needed to provide effective and long term relief.