Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Do you often have abdominal pain or discomfort? Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder leading to abdominal pain or discomfort.
What to watch out for?
Pain – The intensity, location and timing of abnormal discomfort or pain in patients with IBS are highly variable. The pain may be so intense as to interfere with daily activities. Pain is most often described as crampy or achy, sharp and dull. Pain similar to that caused by gas is also commonly reported.
Constipation – Predominant IBS patients report stools that are hard or pellet-like, are difficult to pass, and are associated with a sensation of incomplete faecal evacuation.
Diarrhoea – Patients mostly pass it soft or loose with normal daily volume and diarrhoea may occur after eating or during stress. Passage of faecal mucus is reported by 50 per cent of patients.
Symptoms referable to other organs are also frequently reported by IBS patients. Most of the cases have associated heart burn, early satiety, nausea, vomiting and dyspepsia (indigestion). High incidences of genitourinary dysfunction (severe uterine pain during menstruation, impotence, higher urinary frequency and incomplete urinary evacuation), low back pain, headache, fatigue, insomnia and impaired concentration can also be seen in individuals with IBS.
Gastro- Oesophageal Reflex Disease
The most common GERD symptom is heartburn. Also called acid indigestion, it is described as a burning chest pain moving up to the neck or throat, behind the breast bone and it can prolong as long as two hours.
GERD occurs due to laxity of the sphincter muscle (that contracts to close an opening) at the junction of the stomach and food pipe (oesophagus). Unhealthy lifestyle habits like being overweight, overeating, alcohol consumption, smoking, having food that is too spicy, excessive intake of chocolates etc. also contribute to GERD.
Life style modifications can go a long way to help you.
- Quit Smoking
- Avoid Alcohol
- Reduce Weight
- Avoid Spicy food and chocolates
- Raise the head of the bed by six inches
- Reduce caffeine and drinks and citrus juices
- Eat two hours before sleeping
- Eat small frequent meals