What Causes IBS and Are You at Risk?


The gastrointestinal condition known as irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, can have a big effect on your life in many ways. Causing discomfort in the large intestine, stomach, and other areas of your GI tract, IBS generally causes uncomfortable and, at times, embarrassing symptoms.

At Arizona Digestive Health, we understand the uncomfortable symptoms IBS can have on your overall health, comfort, and life quality. Our GI doctors regularly treat IBS in the Phoenix, AZ area individuals and are ready to work closely with you to limit its symptoms. Read on to learn what might be at the root of irritable bowel syndrome and determine if you may be at risk.

How can IBS develop?

The actual cause of IBS is not known at this time. It’s thought to result from an interruption between the brain (which is in charge of gut function) and the gastro system, which is why gastroenterologists often reference to it as “the brain-gut disorder.” This disconnect can lead to complications within your digestive tract, causing the muscles to move food through your digestive system either too fast or too slowly. IBS is also referred to as “spastic colon” due to the spasms in the colon that often go hand in hand the condition.

A variety of components could be IBS triggers, like:

  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soda
  • Changes in the microbial makeup of your intestines
  • Drinking alcohol
  • A diet containing fatty and spicy foods
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Life stresses
  • Intestinal infections, such as bacterial or viral gastroenteritis

Understanding IBS triggers and your chances of getting this condition could help you better manage your body’s reception should you receive a diagnosis of IBS.

What are the dangers of IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a complex gastro condition. Multiple factors could work together to result in IBS’s first appearance or relapse. Some factors that might magnify the risk of irritable bowel syndrome include:

  • Being female: Irritable bowel syndrome is twice as frequent among women than men.
  • Lifestyle: A poor diet, not enough exercise, tobacco or alcohol use, and obesity can all elevate your risk of getting IBS.
  • Family history: Some patients could be at a greater risk genetically of getting IBS.
  • Age group: Individuals of about all ages may get the condition, but it generally is seen to begin during the teenage years or early adulthood. It does not develop in individuals 50 years old or more as frequently.
  • Mental health: Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, can increase your chances of developing the condition.

If you are worried you may be at risk of developing IBS or any other digestive issues, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at an Arizona Digestive Health location in your community.

What are the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel symptoms may vary from person to person. Traditionally, IBS symptoms in women differ than IBS symptoms in men and usually even range in their level of aggressiveness. Most patients who have IBS will have mild effects. The common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include:

If you have any one of these signs or symptoms or find a difference in your bowel habits, it’s important to consult a physician. Our GI doctors in the Phoenix, AZ area can assess your symptoms and verify if IBS is the culprit of your issues.

How can IBS be treated?

While preventing irritable bowel syndrome may not be possible, action can be taken in order to minimize the effects. Treating irritable bowel syndrome often involves the long-term management of related symptoms to manage it. Reducing associated issues and living with IBS might include daily changes, which could include adding high-fiber foods into your diet, drinking plenty of water, daily exercise, and understanding common IBS triggers. Certain medications can be prescribed to also help alleviate your symptoms, such as antidepressant, anti-diarrheal, anti-nausea, and anticholinergic medicines. Laxatives and fiber supplements might used to take care of associated issues that might spark the condition.

Find irritable bowel syndrome treatment in the Phoenix, AZ area

Beyond causing frustrating symptoms, IBS makes many people feel beaten down and miserable. It is, however, possible to get relief from this illness. The team of doctors at Arizona Digestive Health delivers the necessary care for IBS and will lead you and/or your loved one to a better quality of life. For more information about IBS, irritable bowel syndrome self-care, and to locate a GI doctor who can treat irritable bowel syndrome, reach out to a location near you to request an appointment.

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