Suffering from the irratable bowel syndrome can be very annoying. The IBS is a gastro intestinal condition that manifests through episodes of diarrhea and/or constipation, associated with acute abdominal pain. Medics find it quite difficult to set up a diagnosis as there is no apparent cause and the symptoms can be associated with a series of other gastro intestinal conditions.
People between 20 and 30 years old are more affected by this disorder and studies have shown that women present these symptoms twice as often as men do. There are four main types of manifestation of the condition: abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and diarrheic episodes alternating with constipation. Between 10% and 20% of all the people in the U.S. suffer from the irratable bowel syndrome. However, specialist believe that the incidence rate is actually higher that the official numbers, as many people try to self-medicate or believe that they suffer from other affections and do not consult a medic.
Medics also refer to the irratable bowel syndrome as spastic colon, spastic colitis, nervous diarrhea, nervous colon or nervous bowel. However this condition should be distinguished among other gastro intestinal disease called "colitis, such as ulcerative colitis (colitis describes the inflammation of the colon, whereas the colon is not inflamed in people suffering from irratable bowel syndrome).
There are several symptoms depending on the person and the actual cause, but the main ones are abdominal pain and occasional diarrhea, often alternating with constipation. The person suffering from IBS may feel bloated, full, as the digested food travels at an abnormal rate through the intestines. Sometimes the person may witness abdominal swelling or tenderness. Anxiety can be another symptom associated with the condition, as the person is aware of the gastro intestinal problem and he gets annoyed.
The movement of the digested food and fecal material through the intestines and the colon is dictated by a series of rhythmical muscular contractions (the medical term for these actions is peristalsis). When a person is suffering from the irratable bowel syndrome, the peristalsis is more frequent, thus leading to a noisier and abnormal bowel activity. That is what causes the discomfort of the IBS and what may determine people to be embarrassed with these symptoms.
Abdominal pain is another frequent symptom and it appears mostly in the lower left corner of the abdomen. Going to the toilet can relieve pain associated with this condition.
Also, there may be traces of white mucus in the sufferer's stool sample.
Other symptoms include burping, bad breath caused by an abnormal digestive activity, gas production, nausea and headache. It is important to go the doctor if you witness any of the above syndromes in order to have the proper medication prescribed.