A common issue related to stress and diet is Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. Right now, it’s easy to understand how bowel symptoms may flare up more than normal in the middle of the disruptions we’ve all experienced in recent weeks because of COVID-19.
Not feeling well physically does not help anyone handle the rest of their responsibilities, so we want to discuss some of the symptoms, some of the remedies, and some of the warning signs that you may need to be aware of and possibly contact your doctor about.
IBS is thought to be caused by diet, but most of the symptoms tend to be triggered by stress or changing hormones. Symptoms often include pain and cramps, bloating, possible diarrhea or constipation, and excessive gas. If symptoms last longer then a few days or are consistent in your life, it may be time to contact your doctor.
Surprisingly, IBS has also been associated with mental issues like fatigue, brain fog, and an inability to focus. It can also be associated with joint pain.
IBS can be quite interruptive. Close to 12% of adults suffer from IBS in some form or another, and it seems to affect women more often than men.
Unfortunately, many of the symptoms are common among other bowel diseases like inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, making it difficult to differentiate when making a diagnosis.
Your doctor will want to review your diet, your stress load and any recent life changes, and possibly any hormonal changes that could be triggering your symptoms. It’s possible that an unrecognized food allergy and therefore a change in your diet is what’s necessary to eliminate your discomfort.
However, the amount of stress you may be experiencing is key in understanding how symptoms may be triggered. Chronic stress is tied to many negative health issues, and bowel issues are included.
Additionally, particularly with women, any hormonal changes will need to be considered in order to correctly diagnose IBS. Shifting hormones can play a big role in gut health.
If bloating, pain, constipation, or diarrhea, gas seem to persist and are consistently disrupting your life, it may be time to discuss your issues with a doctor.
Carolina Digestive has specialists readily available to help diagnose IBS or any related bowel issue and can help you develop a treatment plan to help you get back to your life.
Consider scheduling a TeleHealth consultation via video, where we can discuss your symptoms and decide if an in-person visit is necessary to understand your issues.
Call 704-610-5391 to learn more and schedule an appointment.