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How Long Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Last?
Did you know that up to 45 million people, or 10-15% of the American population, suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Even though irritable bowel syndrome is the most common functional gastrointestinal syndrome in the U.S., there’s still a lot that people don’t know about it. Living with IBS can be challenging, so it’s important for all of us to educate ourselves on this condition.
Have you ever wondered, “How long does IBS last?” Keep reading this article to access the ultimate guide on IBS.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal condition that affects the digestive system. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal syndrome in the U.S. It is estimated that up to 45 million people, or 10-15% of the American population, suffer from IBS. About 2 in 3 IBS sufferers are female, while about 1 in 3 IBS sufferers are male. IBS affects people of all ages, including children. Among all the gastrointestinal conditions, IBS can be one of the most problematic. IBS is a condition that affects people differently, as some IBS symptoms or IBS flare-ups vary from person to person.
There are three primary types of IBS: IBS with constipation predominance (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea predominance (IBS-D), and mixed IBS (IBS-M), which presents as an alternating pattern of constipation and diarrhea. Some patients don’t fit into these categories easily and may be referred to as un-subtyped IBS or IBS-U. Historically, before the development of IBSchek, a proprietary blood test to diagnose IBS, would take patients approximately 4-6 years to receive a diagnosis of IBS, usually after undergoing a variety of costly and invasive diagnostic procedures.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms:
- Constipation alternating with diarrhea
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Belly pains or stomach cramps, usually in the lower half of the belly, that get worse after meals and feel better after a bowel movement.
- Change in bowel movement frequency (more than three bowel movements per day (diarrhea or loose stool) or less than three bowel movements per week (constipation)).
- Change in appearance of stool: hard, pellets, not well formed, undigested food, liquid, mucus.
- Harder or looser stools than normal (pellets or flat ribbon stools).
- Digestive system issues beginning after an episode of gastroenteritis, more commonly known as food poisoning.
- General stomach cramping or bloating
IBS is often, but not always, associated with another condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or sometimes Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, often referred to as SIBO, has been widely studied as an underlying cause of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) phenotype. This overview of SIBO as it relates to IBS may help you decide if this is something about which you should speak to your doctor. There is a growing body of literature that suggest IBS may even be hereditary, it is because of this it is recommended to discuss your family history with your doctor.
What Foods Trigger IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)?
Can irritable bowel syndrome cause nausea? Nausea is one of the most common symptoms of IBS and IBS flare-ups, and it’s triggered by certain types of foods.
If you want to take control of your IBS symptoms, then the best thing you can do is choose your foods with care. Since IBS is a digestive condition that varies from person to person, food can either be your medicine or your downfall. There’s a wide range of foods that can trigger your IBS symptoms, so do your best to reduce your consumption or eliminate them from your diet.
Fried foods, foods high in “bad” fats, caffeine, carbonated drinks, chocolate, and too much fiber and protein can all trigger IBS symptoms. If you have gluten or dairy sensitivity, then you should avoid foods containing these ingredients as well. Eating several small meals that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients is the key to bringing joy back to eating and improving the “good bacteria” within your gut’s microbiome.
Are you asking yourself, “Can I drink alcohol with irritable bowel syndrome?” The short answer is no. Alcohol can make diarrhea, constipation, and other IBS symptoms more painful, so it’s best to avoid it whenever you can. If you do indulge in alcohol, make sure you stay hydrated and know your limits.
Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome a Disability?
According to the SSA, irritable bowel syndrome doesn’t qualify as a disability. Even though you won’t get an automatic qualification, you can still apply for financial aid if you have enough proof that your IBS prevents you from working. If you’re able to get approved, then you can start working on making lifestyle changes to improve your condition with the financial stress reduced.
How Long Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Last?
The unfortunate truth is that IBS is a lifelong condition. When a fresh wave of symptoms comes on, they can stick around for days, weeks, or even months. However, you’ll be relieved to know that you can maintain a fulfilling lifestyle free from the uncomfortable IBS symptoms if you’re willing to make some mindful changes.
Are You Ready to Get Relief From IBS?
You’re not alone if you’ve been asking yourself, “How long does irritable bowel syndrome last?” Now that you know that there’s hope to create some meaningful changes with your condition, you can get ready to achieve your happiest lifestyle yet.
Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff at the Center for Natural Healing Hawaii believes that anyone can alleviate their IBS symptoms with a holistic approach. If you’d like to learn how you can revolutionize your health, be sure to schedule your TeleHealth consultation.