Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder which can leave affected individuals feeling very uncomfortable, bloated and run down. Those who experience IBS-C: IBS with symptoms of constipation, also endure abdominal pain and gas.
IBS-C is diagnosed if there is no other cause of the symptoms, and the affected individual has been suffering for at least three months. Many individuals are diagnosed with IBS-C – up to 13 million adults in the United States of America experience the symptoms.
Another gastrointestinal disorder, which is quite similar to IBS-C is chronic idiopathic constipation which affects up to 35 million adults in the U.S. However, discomfort and pain are not generally associated with CIC.
Difficulties Of Living With IBS-C
It may be difficult to live an enjoyable life while experiencing these conditions, as many complications may occur as a result. For example, the increased pressure in the bowels can cause veins to swell, leading to hemorrhoids – swollen veins which may protrude into the rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids bring a new level of discomfort and pain. In addition, malnutrition may occur due to the avoidance of foods which may trigger symptoms despite the fact that they contain essential nutrients and minerals.
It is easy to let the complications develop by ignoring the symptoms. Our busy lives keep us from looking after our bodies properly, but if ignored for too long, the health defects could affect your quality of life.
What Can Be Done?
There are many treatments for IBS-C and CIC which can fit into a busy schedule. Dietary changes are most often the first line of treatment. Eating natural foods, rich in fiber and avoiding processed foods such as those high in sugar and fat can go a long way to treating the symptoms, without taking a chunk out of your schedule. If you need a little help, there are also supplements which can be taken.
In certain cases, doctors may prescribe drugs such as Lubiprostone, which increases the amount of fluid that the body releases into the intestine, making stool easier to pass.
Other general therapies include psychological and behavioral therapies as anxiety is associated with worsening the symptoms of IBS-C and CIC. These therapies will also improve quality of life as they help to reduce stress and maintain good mental health. The only problem is that they do take a noticeable amount of time out of the day.
Another suggestion is to exercise more often, which should be included in a healthy schedule anyway. Exercise is believed to contribute to motion in the bowel by changing the angles of the tubes and moving stool along. It also combats the sluggish, slouching stance which may contribute to the stagnation of food matter in the gastrointestinal tract, and subsequent constipation.
Finding ways to get on top of IBS-C or CIC, by making small changes to daily life, can greatly increase the quality of life by minimizing the symptoms of those conditions. A joined approach with the help of a medical professional can optimize treatment, leaving individuals who experience IBS-C or CIC feeling much better and in control of their lives.