What is IBS and What Does it Mean For Me?
IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome, and it is a chronic condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract, causing a variety of symptoms that can be considerably different from one patient to another. The severity of symptoms can also be very different between patients, and even in one patient at different times. Irritable bowel syndrome usually appears for the first time between the ages of 20 and 30, and it is thought to be approximately twice as common in women as in men.
If you have recently been diagnosed with IBS, then this will most likely have been done based on the symptoms that you have experienced. IBS is known as a functional disorder, which means that there is no apparent cause for the symptoms, such as a blockage in the digestive system. Unfortunately, the nature of this condition means that there is no cure.
Being diagnosed with IBS means that you will need to make a number of changes to your lifestyle and what you eat in order to minimize of the symptoms. It is very important that you make these changes, based on the advice that your Los Angeles IBS specialist will give to you. This will mean making changes to the foods that you eat, as this can have a significant impact on the severity of your symptoms. You will be advised to start keeping a food diary. Recording what you eat and the symptoms that you experience as a result will help to identify your trigger foods. Trigger foods are those that cause a flare up of your symptoms, by aggravating the gastrointestinal tract.
While irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that will be present for the rest of your life, it is not considered to be dangerous or life-threatening. With proper management, IBS will have very little impact on your daily life, so it is certainly not something that you should worry about too much. However, there are several other aspects, as well as food, that can have an impact on the severity of your symptoms. One of the most important of these is stress – the more stress you are under, the worse your IBS symptoms will be. Worrying about your condition will also contribute to this.
What an IBS diagnosis really means for you, the patient, is that you will need to pay careful attention to your food and fluid intake, and it would be highly advisable for you to start following a regular exercise program. Learning to deal with stress effectively will also be very beneficial, so you may want to start looking at some stress relief measures. Beyond this, a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome should have very little impact on your overall health, and should certainly not stop you from doing anything that you want to do. There are many people in Los Angeles who are currently living with the condition, and as long as the advice is followed, you should not suffer from severe IBS symptoms. However, it can be extremely painful and distressing to the patients, and for this reason, it is the subject of ongoing research. If you think that you have developed the symptoms of IBS, then you should book an appointment with a colorectal surgeon to have this confirmed, and to find out what treatment options are available to you.