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Exercise and IBS: What's the Connection?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder which causes the bowels or the gut to be oversensitive. This increase in sensitivity causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, which includes excessive gas, stomach cramps and pains, bloating of the abdomen, constipation, and diarrhea. Obviously, these symptoms do not exactly make for the ideal life.


In symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel pattern, such as loose or more frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, and/or constipation.


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 Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome vary quite widely from patient to patient, but there are some common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that can indicate an IBS diagnosis. They include:

Finally, there are several alternative therapies which can be effective for IBS. Hypnotherapy has proved very effective, and a special form called gut-directed hypnotherapy has been developed just for digestive problems. Acupuncture may also be worth looking into.

It is very important that you receive a diagnosis of IBS from a medical professional rather than self-diagnosing, as bowel symptoms can be present in many other health conditions.

Sometimes irritable bowel syndrome is referred to as spastic colon, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, nervous stomach, or irritable colon. Irritable bowel syndrome is understood as a multi-faceted disorder. Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome result from what appears to be a disturbance in the interaction between the gut or intestines, the brain, and the autonomic nervous system that alters regulation of bowel motility (motor function) or sensory function.

Most individuals are surprised to learn they are not alone with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 10-20% of the general population. It is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in medical treatment of disorders of the stomach and intestines) and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians.

Second, exercise is a good way to relieve stress. Many doctors believe that IBS has psychological origins. When a mind is under unusual amounts of stress, it is more prone to mental problems. Mental problems, in turn, lead to physical problems. The symptoms of IBS often begin when a person is exposed to too much stress. Stress has not been proven to cause IBS; but it certainly makes it worse. Because of this, anyone with the syndrome should do his utmost to reduce his stress levels. Exercising, of course, is one of the finest ways to accomplish this.

Sufferers sometimes find that their symptoms begin after a bout of food poisoning or an operation. Others date their symptoms back to a very stressful period in their lives, and some patients can see no clear reason for why their symptoms began.

It is vital that you are properly diagnosed with IBS by a medical professional, as bowel symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be the result of many other health conditions such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases. It is not possible to accurately self-diagnosis IBS and you may put your health at risk if you do so. In particular, the following symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are not typical of IBS and must be investigated further:

One of the common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in IBS sufferers is that their stomach pain is relieved when they have a bowel movement. They may find that the consistency or shape of their stool changes, and they may also pass some mucus in the stool.

pain that often awakens/interferes with sleep diarrhea that often awakens/interferes with sleep blood in your stool weight loss fever abnormal physical examination.

What is IBS with constipation treated with? There are many treatment options for IBS symptoms when constipation is present. An increase in dietary fiber and water are usually the first recommendations. If IBS symptoms are not relieved, doctors may recommend laxatives, but only for short-term use. A botanical supplement containing aloe is often recommended, because it is gentler than stimulant laxatives and is not habit-forming. Diet and lifestyle changes are often recommended, as is stress management, if stress is a problem. Alternative therapies such as hypnosis and chiropractic have been effective for relieving IBS symptoms in some people. Anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed because they block pain and may relax stomach muscles. Zelnorm, a prescription medication for women who have IBS symptoms with constipation, is sometimes prescribed, but it can have serious side-effects.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common condition, but in some ways it is still a mystery. There are many different theories about what causes the syndrome, and different doctors will give you different reasons for your illness ' anything from stress to bad bacteria to food intolerance. And once you have been diagnosed, there is no set form of treatment ' instead, sufferers tend to try two or three supplements or therapies to find a combination that works for them.

It may also be worth looking at your diet. A nutritionist can advise on ways to identify any particular food 'triggers' which may be setting off your symptoms, and also on whether you might have a food intolerance to something like gluten or lactose.

What is IBS caused by? The cause of IBS is not known. It is not believed to lead to more serious conditions, does not appear to increase the risk for colon cancer, but the symptoms are similar to those of inflammatory bowel diseases and should be evaluated by a physician. Stress is not believed to be a cause, but it does tend to worsen IBS symptoms. IBS symptoms are more common in women than men, possibly indicating that monthly hormonal changes are a cause, but this has not been proven. For more information about IBS and other digestive problems, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

IBS is clearly a complicated issue, so here is a basic overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. The symptoms Although the symptoms of IBS vary from person to person, there are several symptoms which are typical of the illness. The most common symptom is either recurring diarrhea or recurring constipation (although some patients also have alternating diarrhea and constipation).

What is IBS? IBS is irritable bowel syndrome. IBS symptoms typically include abdominal pain which is relieved by a bowel movement. There may be excessive gas and bloating. Changes in frequency and appearance of stools are also IBS symptoms. IBS symptoms may include constipation and/or diarrhea.

People who exercise regularly report a feeling of well-being after their sessions. What happens is this: the brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers and antidepressants, so anyone in physical or mental pain will benefit from their release. Exercise isn't only good for you; it makes you feel good as well!

 
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Additional symptoms can include stomach pain (sometimes relieved by a bowel movement), bloating, nausea and a lot of gas. These symptoms generally go away for a short time before returning again, as IBS can work in cycles. Sufferers may experience a few weeks or even a few months of good health before the symptoms come back.

The diagnosis There is no set test for IBS, and it is often called a diagnosis of 'exclusion'. This means that a doctor may rule out other bowel and stomach complaints such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease before giving you a diagnosis of IBS.

What is IBS with constipation? Doctors make this diagnosis when IBS symptoms include constipation or when a person has fewer bowel movements than what they are accustomed to. The stool may be hard or difficult to pass.

What is IBS with diarrhea treated with? Treatment options for IBS symptoms when diarrhea is present are as numerous as those for constipation. Doctors may suggest over the counter anti-diarrhea products like Kaopectate. Medications to reduce muscle spasms may be prescribed. Herbal remedies are available. Hypnosis was shown to be effective in one study. Stress management, anti-depressants, dietary and lifestyle changes may all be effective for relieving IBS symptoms with diarrhea.

Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a healthcare professional and currently writes informational articles for the Digestive Disorders Guide. Read more at http://www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

Jacob Mabille writes for Free Health Articles where you can find more health tips and related articles. You may republish this article only if you retain resource box and active hyperlinks.

A change in diet is often necessary for IBS sufferers. By eating more fiber-rich foods such as apples, peaches, cabbage, and broccoli, an IBS sufferer can reduce the impact of both constipation and diarrhea. Food items such as carrots, peas, whole-wheat bread, and pineapples are good choices as well. On the other hand, alcohol and caffeine-rich beverages should be avoided.

What is IBS with diarrhea? This is when IBS symptoms include loose, watery stools, possible with mucus present and going more often than usual.

Generally, patients with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome find that they fit into one of three groups - diarrhea-predominant IBS, constipation-predominant IBS, or alternating diarrhea and constipation.

diarrhea constipation alternating diarrhea and constipation stomach pain bloating excess gas or wind nausea. You do not need to have all of these symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome to be diagnosed with the disease, but patients will usually have some diarrhea or constipation plus stomach pain. These symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome keep coming back over a period of time, as IBS is a fairly long-term condition, and should not be confused with normal stomach upsets or occasional bouts of constipation.

The treatment The first stage of treatment may involve any medications your doctor has given you to try. This could be an anti-spasmodic, which will relax the muscles in the gut walls, or perhaps a low dose of an anti-depressant, which can help to reduce the pain.

Aside from changes in diet, one of the most important things an IBS sufferer can do is to get some regular exercise. Exercise is vital to the IBS sufferer for two specific reasons. First, exercise makes your body stronger. Exercise strengthens the immune system, making it less likely that other illnesses or disorders will occur.

Sometimes patients are given a colonoscopy, where a tiny camera is inserted into the intestines to look for abnormalities. In an IBS sufferer the colonoscopy won't detect any physical signs of disease ' IBS is often called a 'functional' disorder, because it seems to be caused by an alteration in the way the body functions rather than an identifiable cause such as inflammation.

However, this does not mean it is any less real than, say, inflammatory bowel disease, it just means that doctors haven't come up with a proper test for it yet!

You may also be given one of the new drugs specifically developed for IBS ' Lotronex for diarrhea sufferers and Zelnorm for constipation sufferers.

Unfortunately however, a large portion of IBS sufferers find that their condition cannot be fully cured. The medical profession has been unable to pinpoint exactly the causes of the syndrome. Thus, a cure has not been developed. In the absence of such a cure, however, the best thing and IBS sufferer can do is to get the best medical help available, as well as make relevant lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes may not be able to make IBS go away completely, but they will make the symptoms easier to cope with.

Treatment options are available to manage IBS - whether the
symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are mild, moderate, or
severe.

About the author:
Wendy Butler is committed to helping people promote and protect
their health. Read more about IBS here: HREF=http://www.web-find-it.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome/i
ndex.html target="_blank">http://www.web-find-it.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndr
ome/index.html - Wendy Butler - HREF=http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome-help-online.org target="_blank">http://w
ww.irritable-bowel-syndrome-help-online.org

If the drugs do not help you then you could try using a fiber supplement such as Citrucel to add bulk to your stool ' this can be helpful for both diarrhea and constipation. Also, there are other supplements such as Caltrate Plus which may be useful (Caltrate Plus contains calcium carbonate which can reduce diarrhea).

About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for more than 15 years. She runs
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read
descriptions and reviews of the treatments available for IBS,
from drugs to alternative therapy.


 
 
     
 
 





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