Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Functional Colopathy
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Irritable bowel syndrome, which is also called functional colopathy, is very common. It is an abnormality of the functioning of the digestive tract which can be chronic. It is characterized by short episodes of constipation and loose stools, accompanied in most cases by abdominal pain.
Irritable bowel syndrome is not considered a disease because there are no real medical causes. However, by manifesting itself chronically it can have a very negative influence on the quality of life, on the morale.
This syndrome is very common and results from a hyper sensitivity of the colon. The colon, or large intestine, is located between the small intestine and the rectum and has the mission to complete the digestion of food by reabsorbing liquids and thus participate in the formation of stool.
Functional colopathy is characterized by short episodes of constipation and loose stools, accompanied in most cases by abdominal pain. Pains and symptoms are often associated with psychological disorders such as stress, anxiety or depression.
People with Irritable Colon Syndrome (IBS) are usually able to manage their symptoms by making adjustments to their lifestyle. A healthy diet can ease the symptoms. Dietary fiber, found in whole grain breads and cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables, prevents stools from becoming too dry and promotes regular bowel movement. Initially, adopting a high-fiber diet may cause bloating and gas, but this disappears after a few weeks; it is also possible to alleviate these discomfort by gradually changing the amount of fiber in the diet. You should also drink a lot, especially water, to prevent or reduce constipation.
As stress can cause the appearance of IBS symptoms, it is important to know how to manage it best. It is often recommended to practice physical exercises as well as relaxation exercises (meditation, for example). Your doctor may also suggest that you speak with a counselor to learn how to better cope with IBS. If anxiety exacerbates your symptoms, ask your doctor how to better cope with your condition.
The drug treatment of IBS only targets the symptoms. Medications are available to slow the transit of food through the digestive tract, and to control diarrhea. Laxatives are sometimes helpful in cases of persistent constipation, but it is best not to go addicted to get regular bowel movements. Antidiarrheal medications (eg loperamide) can help people whose diarrhea is one of the main symptoms. Several other medications are available and your doctor can discuss them with you.
Probiotics are bacteria that live normally in the intestines and are found in certain foods; they are therefore considered as "good" bacteria. Some studies suggest that IBS could be caused by an imbalance of the good bacteria in the intestines. Probiotics can help alleviate the symptoms experienced by people with IBS by restoring this balance.