Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating
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Having an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often causes stomach bloating. IBS itself is a complicated condition with some experiencing just bloating while others may experience just diarrhoea or constipation; with others experiencing both constipation and diarrhoea at the same time. How can you tell which condition you have and what is the best way to treat your IBS to reduce bloating?
IBS causes digestive problems like cramping, belly pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or both.
There are three types, which are grouped by the main bowel problem that you have.
IBS-D (diarrhoea) which is defined as having frequent, loose stools preceded by lower abdominal cramping
IBS-C (constipation) defined as having infrequent bowel movements with stools which may be hard and pellet-shaped
IBS-M (mixed), also known as IBS-A (alternating).
It’s called “mixed” because you go back and forth between diarrhoea and constipation, sometimes pretty quickly, said WebMD.
The health site continued: “And some studies have found that people with this type tend to have more belly pain or discomfort than those who have IBS-C or D.
“The difference between occasional digestive issues and IBS is that, with IBS, discomfort and bowel troubles are common and go on for months.
“Doctors don’t really know what causes the condition. It may happen for a number of reasons, which could be different from person to person.”
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IBS is different for each person, and the mixed subtype of IBS is an especially diverse category.
Those with IBS-M report symptoms that are common in people who have IBS with constipation (IBS-C), such as straining, the feeling of having an incomplete bowel movement, and manual evacuation of the bowels.
They also report urgency, which is more typical of IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D).
Many IBS-M patients report that certain foods make them feel worse. These foods include:
- Drinks that contain caffeine, including coffee and tea
- Dairy products
- Fatty or greasy food
- Certain sweeteners, such as fructose and sorbitol
If you’ve experienced these symptoms for roughly three or six months, you should see a healthcare professional to get an official diagnosis.
They might take a complete health history before trying to rule out other more serious conditions.
You’ll likely have to complete several lab and stool tests, as well as an x-ray exam, colonoscopy, and endoscopy. These tests will be negative if you have IBS.
For an official IBS diagnosis, you need to have recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort for a minimum of three days per month for the last three months.
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