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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Irritable Bowel disease is a condition that affects nearly 20% of the adult American population. While most of the time, the causes for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are mild, in rare cases, it may be indicative of ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. It is noticed that women are more prone to develop IBS than men, leading to the belief that hormonal changes may have a bearing on the condition. IBS involves a functional disorder of the large intestine. It usually has no structural or biochemical causes.

Typical symptoms that affect persons suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are gas (flatulence), bloating and mucus/blood in stool. Constipation or diarrhea is also noticed. The patient suffers from cramps. Other symptoms can range from fever and nausea to weight loss and vomiting of bile. In most cases of irritable bowel syndrome, the symptoms are mild. But in chronic cases of IBS, the symptoms are persistent and can affect the quality of the life of the patient. It is noticed that stress, medications, certain foods or stimuli may trigger the IBS symptoms. Some persons notice worsening of symptoms on consumption of milk, alcohol, chocolates or dairy products. Gastroenteritis can trigger an attack of irritable bowel syndrome.

A gastroenterologist can help you diagnose and treat this condition with dietary changes and medication. Stool studies, functional assessment of the GI tract and colonoscopy can aid in screening for IBS. Colonoscopy involves examination of the colon with a small flexible tube. This helps to rule out ulcerative colitis or colorectal cancer. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as sulfasalazine and antibiotics such as metronidazole can attack the germs in the intestine. Anti-diarrheal medication, laxatives or painkillers can provide relief from symptoms of irritable bowel disease. Dietary changes that are likely to be prescribed include eating at regular times, drinking plenty of water, restricting fatty foods and reducing dairy products. Moderate exercise is also helpful. Gradual increase in fiber content in the diet provides relief for many. Fiber supplements are sometimes prescribed. Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease must be treated differently.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is not contagious, inherited or cancerous. Neither does it mean that there is a problem with the structure of the intestine. If the muscle movement in the intestine is not normal or if there is a lower tolerance for stretching and movement of the intestine, the muscle contractions may become too hard. This affects the elimination of waste out of the body. At this stage, the individual suffers cramps in the abdomen area, abdomen bloat and constipation or may develop diarrhea.

Symptoms of IBS

Primary symptoms: Abdominal pain, abdominal swelling or bloating, bowel irregularities, constipation or diarrhea or alternative bouts of diarrhea and constipation. Almost all irritable bowel syndrome sufferers who seek medical help have these primary symptoms.

Secondary symptoms: Feeling full or loss of appetite, feeling of nausea, heartburn and indigestion. There are instances where IBS sufferers have bladder problems.

Mental symptoms: Anxiety, depression, emotional distress, irritability and tiredness.

Triggers for Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Individuals with a family history of IBS are susceptible.
  • Also those who have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and temporomandibular disorder.
  • People with panic disorder or any other psychological condition. Due to emotional stress and anxiety the nerves of the bowels may be affected.
  • Certain medications like antibiotics, antidepressants, antacids and painkillers can lead to constipation or diarrhea.
  • Food or substances can trigger spasms in people. For example, milk products consumed by lactose-intolerant people, fatty foods, carbonated drinks, corn and wheat can make digestion difficult leading to constipation.
  • Gastrointestinal infection will result in frequent bowel symptoms even days or months after the infection has been treated.

Tackling Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Avoid foods high in fat.
  • Choose fruits and vegetables suitable for your digestion.
  • Eat well before bedtime.
  • Drink 6-8 classes of water. Helps digestive system to work better.
  • Change from 3 larger meals to 6 small meals a day.
  • Learn to eat slowly. Chew food well before swallowing.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages. Causes gas and discomfort.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) represents a breakthrough in medical diagnostics and research. Nearly 60 million investigations with MRI are performed every year worldwide. This imaging technique was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2003. MRI has been used since the beginning of 1980s. MRI is primarily used in medical settings to produce high quality images of the inside of the human body. Magnetic field of radio waves energy is used to capture pictures of organs and structures inside the body. The MRI scan used magnetic and radio waves and therefore there is no exposure as in X rays or any other damaging forms of radiation. Since radiation is not used, the procedure can be repeated without problems.

MRI is used to examine the joints, spine and the soft parts of the human body such as liver, kidneys and spleen. An MRI scan is used in the diagnosis of Diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal gas, chronic pain, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, Cardiomyopathy, Devic's syndrome and headaches in children. It is used in to study specific conditions such as:

  • Trauma to the brain, bleeding and swelling in the head
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumor
  • Tumors or inflammation of the spine
  • Trauma of the spinal cord
  • Problems of vertebrae or intervertebral discs of the spine
  • Tears and aneurysms in the structure of heart and aorta
  • Information on glands and organs in the abdomen
  • Structure of joints, soft tissues and bones of the body
  • To direct surgery or to defer surgery.

During a MRI Scanning procedure, patient is made to lie in a closed area inside a magnetic field. This creates claustrophobic sensation in certain patients during the procedure. Normally a mild sedative is given prior to the MRI scan and this helps to alleviate the claustrophobic sensation. The new open MRI is open on three sides and this helps to alleviate the feeling of claustrophobia. The new open MRI scanner provides quality imaging with highest performance specifications with a powerful and stronger magnet. Scanning is also done much faster. It has the ability to detect diseases more accurately.

Tags: #Irritable Bowel Syndrome #Irritable Bowel Syndrome #MRI
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 19, 2024