Irritable Bowel Syndrome: what it is and what are the symptoms

Poor bowel function is very harmful to the health of the body — and Irritable Bowel Syndrome is among the main problems affecting the Pak population. Do you already know this disease?

Understanding more about it is important to identify any problems with the intestine and, if necessary, seek medical help. This way, you can stay healthier and achieve a better quality of life.

With this in mind, we prepared this content to explain what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is, and what its symptoms and causes are. Check out!

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a chronic condition that affects intestinal transit. As a result, it generates episodes of abdominal discomfort and several other symptoms.

Here, it is worth highlighting that it is not related to injury or inflammation of the organ. Therefore, it is considered a functional disease and has no risk of progressing to more serious conditions. Still, it requires attention, as it can cause discomfort and harm patients’ quality of life.

What are the symptoms of this problem?

IBS can manifest itself through different symptoms. See which the main ones are:

  • Abdominal pain and/or discomfort: it is usually similar to cramps, throbbing or spasmodic, felt in different areas of the abdomen;
  • Changes in intestinal transit: symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation or frequent changes between the two. Furthermore, stools may be soft, pasty or liquid;
  • Abdominal swelling or feeling of a bloated belly: in general, it is caused by gases accumulated in the intestinal tract or due to fluid retention in the body;
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation: it gives the impression that, when going to the bathroom, the body has not evacuated completely;
  • Feeling of urgency: in this case, abnormal contractions in the region’s muscles generate the need to evacuate urgently;
  • Changes in stool: the presence of mucus is also common in episodes of IBS.

Furthermore, the syndrome may result in other problems, such as fatigue, sleep changes, loss of appetite, and nausea. If you identify symptoms, it is essential to schedule a medical appointment for an evaluation.

After all, it is from the diagnosis that you can carry out the most appropriate treatment. Furthermore, the symptoms are not always a sign of IBS. They may refer to a specific problem or indicate other illnesses, making medical support essential.

What are the causes of IBS?

Knowing more about the symptoms of IBS, it is common to wonder what the main causes are. In fact, the syndrome can be triggered by different factors. Next, find out more about the main ones!

Eating habits

Diet, including allergies and intolerance to some components, can contribute to the development of IBS or worsen the problem. It is quite common for dairy products, citrus fruits, some grains and drinks, such as soft drinks, to contribute to the condition. Those who do not maintain healthy meals also tend to suffer from the condition.

Nerve dysfunction

Problems in the nervous system can also explain IBS in some situations, as it also controls intestinal transit. For example, there may be damage to nerves in the intestine or specific neurological diseases — such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s.

Mental health disorders

Situations such as stress, depression and anxiety can affect intestinal transit. As a result, conditions can stimulate or worsen Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Intestinal smooth muscle problems

This muscle is responsible for contracting and relaxing the walls of the intestine, allowing food to be digested and eliminated. Changes in the functioning of this muscle, such as abnormal contractions or nervous disorders, can cause IBS.


Infections that affect the intestinal tract can trigger IBS due to the greater sensitivity caused in the region. The same can happen due to the excessive growth of bacteria in the intestinal flora.


Hormonal changes are also among the possible causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For this reason, it is more common for the problem to be presented by women. Still, there are patients who say that in periods close to menstruation, symptoms become more uncomfortable.

What are the recommendations for people who suffer from this problem?

One of the fundamental points about IBS is that it has no cure. However, there are habits that must be adopted to reduce symptoms and ensure a better quality of life. The doctor will be able to give you recommendations based on your condition. However, it is worth checking out some of the most common recommendations:

Improvement in diet

Avoiding foods known to trigger symptoms is important. It may also be a case of carrying out tests to identify intolerances and allergies, in order to remove these foods from your diet. Reducing or even eliminating the consumption of carbonated drinks and very fatty foods is also usually a recommended practice.

In some cases, it may be advisable to increase fiber consumption, as it benefits the digestive system. It is also essential to drink adequate water to maintain hydration and avoid constipation.

Do physical activity

Exercise brings several health benefits and can help treat IBS. This is because it reduces stress levels and helps with mental health, avoiding some triggers that can trigger a crisis of the syndrome. Furthermore, practicing physical activity helps regulate and maintain intestinal function.

Use specific medications

The use of medications may be necessary to help reduce symptoms, mainly to promote a better quality of life. In some cases, they are also used to combat the causes of IBS. It is worth highlighting that, in all situations, it is essential to have medical advice.


As IBS conditions can be linked to mental health issues, consultation with a therapist, such as a psychologist, can help manage some of the causes. Still, there are therapies that can help with symptoms.

How to prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Prevention of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is usually quite similar to some of the practices adopted in treatment. Having a healthy diet and doing physical activities are two essential examples. However, as the problem can be triggered by different factors, it is always worth studying the possible causes and avoiding these practices.

This does not mean, for example, completely eliminating fatty foods and citrus fruits from your routine. In fact, when it comes to prevention, the ideal is to maintain balance, and prioritize a healthy routine, but also eat other foods that you like, for example.

How to improve gut health and increase quality of life?

One of the main ways to improve gut health and, consequently, have a better quality of life is through good nutrition. It is important to maintain a natural diet, rich in fiber and vegetables.

In the case of fibers, the recommendation is common because they help keep the intestines regular. Vegetables provide important nutrients and antioxidants. It is also essential to drink plenty of water to maintain hydration, which helps maintain regular intestinal transit.

Finally, do physical activities and take care of your mental health. All of these practices will help maintain intestinal health, but also provide other benefits for your body, promoting quality of life.