Home Care in Monroeville PA
April is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month. April was designated IBS Awareness Month by IFFGD (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders) in 1997 because of the 9% – 23% of people worldwide who suffer with IBS, most go undiagnosed and untreated.
IBS Awareness Month was created by IFFGD to, “focus attention on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.”
Symptoms of IBS may be difficult to recognize at first. They may appear to be part of another issue. IFFGD says a, “number of symptoms that occur together characterize IBS. This may confuse you at first. Plus, symptoms will likely change over time. The changes may seem random. But there is a pattern to symptoms of IBS.”
This article discusses symptoms of IBS; however, if you think your parent may be suffering with IBS, please see a doctor who can accurately diagnose them and incorporate treatment into their home care.
IFFGD states that the three most prevalent symptoms of IBS are:
- Abdominal Discomfort – The discomfort is described differently, depending on the patient. It can be cramping or stabbing pain. Some patients have described it as a migraine of the stomach.
- Bloating – Bloating can come with abdominal discomfort. It causes the abdominal area to look distended. It often gets worse during the day, as the patient of IBS eats.
- Diarrhea or Constipation – It is a misconception that diarrhea is the only symptom of IBS that impacts bowel movements. Constipation can also be an issue.
Suffering from these symptoms once in a while probably does not mean your parent has IBS, but if the symptoms are chronic, your parent should be taken to a doctor. IBS negatively impacts the life of anyone who has it. Symptoms often come on without warning, eventually making people with IBS reluctant to leave the house or engage in social functions. Eating is often not enjoyable, because the sufferer knows that later they may have to deal with bloating or diarrhea.
It is important to note that IBS is not a terminal condition, nor is it a gateway to a more serious disease. Treatments and possible medications depend on the symptoms the individual with IBS has. If your parent has a friend with IBS and has been put on medication to control diarrhea, that does not mean your parent should take the same diarrhea medication. The correct treatment for IBS can only be determined by a doctor.
With education and treatment, your parents can begin enjoying their life again.