Sample Research Paper On Symptoms Of IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Living a healthy lifestyle is essential. Some ways of upholding a healthy lifestyle are maintaining a good sleeping schedule, keeping a regular exercise regimen, and practicing proper hygiene. However, having the correct diet is still the most important among all of these. One’s food intake determines the amount of vitamins, minerals, fat, fiber, etcetera that the body needs to function. If the body’s food requirement is not met, problems will arise. This paper aims to discuss one common bodily problem, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is an abnormality in the function of the bowels/gut. Patients suffering from IBS experiences discomfort in his/her abdominal area. The bodily function of the gastrointestinal tract is impeded due to various reasons. IBS also affects the emotional, psychological and mental functions of the patient due to the discomfort.
First and foremost, understanding “normal” in “normal bowel movement” is essential. There are people who defecate every morning every day; some defecate only twice every week. Normal bowel movement differs from one person to another. IBS patients may experience diarrhea and constipation simultaneously, alternately, or exclusively (American Gastroenterological Association, 2015). IBS patients will also experience gas and bloating – the feeling is as if there is a balloon being inflated in the abdomen area. Other symptoms include dizziness and nausea, immediate fullness when eating or loss of appetite, burping more frequently, and heartburn (Harding, 2014). Some IBS patients experience being moody, cranky and lack of focus which are by-products of the discomfort that they are feeling. IBS patients may also be depressed, stressed out, and the like.
Causes of IBS
Though most sources state that the causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome cannot be identified and that its diagnosis is different from one person to another, the American Gastroenterological Association (2015) claims that there it has three major causes. These causes included are (1) colonic dysmotility which is characterized as the aberrant muscle contraction of the colon, (2) visceral hypersensitivity which means that the nerves of the intestines become over-sensitive to stimulus which is perceived as pain, and (3) brain-gut dysfunction which is explained as the association of emotional and/or psychological distress to physical pain such as abdominal cramps. These three “causes”, however, still does not answer the question, “How or why does IBS occur?” They only serve as explanations as to how a patient’s symptoms manifest.
Dairy, cholesterol-rich food, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol have been suspected to cause IBS (The Patient Education Institute, 2012). It still all boils down to food intake. If a patient does not have a healthy diet, he/she is prone to suffer from IBS. Suspected non-food causes are as follows: depression, emotional stress and other psychological problems may also cause IBS as the nervous system controls the bowels (McKesson Health Solutions, 2004). Bacteria and/or germs in the gut can also be a cause.
Treatment for IBS
There is no one treatment for IBS. Basically, the patient will be given different and separate medicines to aid his/her discomfort depending on the exhibited signs and symptoms of IBS. For example, for constipation, the patient may be given laxatives; for diarrhea, the patient may be given lactobacillus concentrate for bacterial infestation or inhibitors to control the frequency of feces release such as loperamide. Rehydration is also necessary. Medicines for heartburn, nausea, and bloating are also different from each other.
The best treatment for IBS is prevention. To prevent the occurrence or recurrence of IBS, the patient must observe a healthy diet. Food rich in vitamins, minerals, and soluble fiber are good for the bowels. One way to guide the IBS patient in choosing the proper diet for him/her is the Low-FODMAP diet. FODMAP means Fermentable Oligosaccharides Dissacharides Monosaccharides and Polyols. Low FODMOP simply means to avoid these types of sugar to ensure convalescence of the IBS patient (Harding, 2015). FODMOP foods include apples, cherries, and peaches, peas, cabbage, and broccoli, artificial sweeteners, and other dairy products (Harding, 2015). The patient must also consider eating in moderation so as not to aggravate his/her bowels (American Gastroenterological Association, 2015).
According to Dr. Harding (2015), observing a regular exercise regimen is also necessary. It has been established in this paper that the bowels are also controlled by the nervous system which also controls the emotional, mental, and psychological state of a person. Lessening the stress levels will help alleviate the symptoms of IBS. Record-keeping of food intake and symptoms will also help the patient.
Rose, a college student, exhibits signs and symptoms of IBS such as constipation at one moment and diarrhea as well. She also experience heartburn and mood swings upon the onset of the aforementioned symptoms. It is difficult for her to attend her classes when she is suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome “attacks”. Her daily life is affected as she needs to go to the comfort room every so often, take medications, keep track of her food intake, and practice a regular healthful regimen. Rose is also asthmatic. When she experiences heartburn, it is also hard for her to breathe as the pressure in the abdomen area pushes up the diaphragm, causing an onset of an asthma attack. She takes loperamide for diarrhea, fiber-rich foods for constipation, and antacids for heartburn. As for her mood swings, she tries hard to keep a more positive outlook in life.
IBS is a disorder that inhibits the function of the bowel movement. It is basically discomfort in the abdomen area specifically the intestines. Due to this discomfort, IBS patients tend to be moody, cranky, or, worst, depressed. Their daily lives are affected as they may have to use the comfort room every so often, take medications, watch out on what they eat, practice a regular healthful regimen. IBS patients exhibit the following symptoms: diarrhea and/or constipation, gas and bloating, dizziness and nausea, heartburn, immediate fullness when eating or loss of appetite, and frequent burping. Although the cause of IBS is not definite, dairy; cholesterol-rich food; chocolate; caffeine; alcohol are suspected causes of IBS. IBS is not treated as a whole but as a sum of its parts. Treatment differs depending on the patient’s symptoms. Different medicines are given to alleviate the different symptoms of IBS. Proper diet and regular exercise are also prescribed to the patient. Keeping a positive outlook in life is also necessary to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of IBS as the nervous system which controls the emotional, mental and psychological functions of the body also controls the bowel movement. It is also advised that patients keep a record of their food intake and IBS symptoms.
Drossman, D. (2015). IBS: A Patient's Guide to Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. American Gastroenterological Association. Retrieved from http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome.
Harding, M. (2014). Irritable bowel syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.patient.co.uk/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome-leaflet.
Irritable bowel syndrome. (2004). McKesson Health Solutions. Retrieved from www.cumc.columbia.edu/student/health/pdf/I-L
Irritable bowel syndrome. (2012). The Patient Education Institute, Inc. Retrieved from www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/irritablebowelsyndrom/ge089105.pdf
Reeves, L. & Lorner, M. (2008). Irritable bowel syndrome diet. National Institute for Health and Clincal Excellence. Retrieved from http://www.unimed.co.uk/pdfs/Irritable_Bowel_Syndrome.pdf.
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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