Irritable bowel syndromes: Symptoms and remedies


Food is an essential element for human survival it provides energy to the body, builds tissues, and helps to maintain life. A person can live only three weeks without food. The role of food is very important to provide energy to the organisms, to build the body, and to manage life properly.  Food is made up of six types of nutrients these are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Sometimes due to various reasons, the food is not digested properly such as eating too fast, any disease of the stomach, structural defects of the esophagus, etc. Then various discomforts are created in the human body. And from this discomfort, various problems arise. One such problem in the human body is irritable bowel syndromes (1) & (2).

For daily activities, the body needs food, therefore, it is essential for the nutrition of the body. Some enzymes present in the human body digest this food in different ways and provide energy to the human body.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease of the large intestine. The human body does not digest food properly without any big reason. As a result, the human body suffers from stomach pain, flatulence, and bowel problems. If this problem has been present in the human body for a long time, then it is called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the language of medicine. It is a type of gastrointestinal disease. This disease has become a common disease in the present day. The disease is found in most people around the world. About 15 to 45% of the world’s population is affected by this intestinal problem.

Syndrome means the sum of different symptoms of a disease. In this disease, the stomach is more active and sensitive than usual. Although various studies have explained the cause, no specific cause has been found, so it is called a functional gastrointestinal disorder. Another name for this disease is spastic colon or spastic bowel or nervous colon (5) & (8).

Where and who is most affected?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a problem of the intestines and digestive system. About 15 to 45% of people worldwide are infected with irritable bowel syndrome. This problem is found in about 11% of people in the developed world. The people of South America are most affected by this large intestinal problem. This disease affects 21% of people in South America. On the other hand, in south and southeast Asia, the effect of this disease is slightly lower, about 7%. Medical science studies have shown that the disease is more common in people between the ages of 20 to 40. Irritable bowel syndrome is more common in women than in men. People of any age can be affected by irritable bowel syndrome. The effect of this disease decreases after the age of 50 years (3) & (5).

Types of Irritable Bowel Syndromes

There are three main types of irritable bowel syndromes in the human body.

1. Irritable bowel syndrome- constipation (IBS-C)

IBS-C means that a person with irritable bowel syndrome has symptoms of constipation.

2. Irritable bowel syndrome- diarrhea (IBS-D)

IBS-D means that a person with irritable bowel syndrome has symptoms of diarrhea.

3. Irritable bowel syndrome- alternating constipation and diarrhea (IBS-D or IBS-M)

IBS-M or IBS-A means that a person with irritable bowel syndrome has symptoms of alternating constipation and diarrhea (5).

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndromes

It is a common disease of the large intestine. People with irritable bowel syndrome usually have abdominal pain, bloating, acidity, changes in bowel habits (sometimes diarrhea, sometimes constipation), and headaches.

However, not all symptoms will always appear. The symptoms of this disease can vary from patient to patient. The following symptoms are seen in this disease (6).

1. Abdominal pain

The common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome is abdominal pain. This pain is usually in the lower abdomen. But sometimes the pain starts all over the abdomen.

These symptoms are seen in a large number of people. The severity and duration of the pain vary from person to person and there is intense or little pain in the abdomen. The severity and duration of pain depend on bowel movement (4).

2. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another symptom of irritable bowel syndromes. About one-third of irritable bowel syndromes patients are affected by diarrhea. The symptoms of diarrhea are

1. At first, there is a pain in the abdomen.

2. Thin stools are frequently excreted. Mucus and blood are often excreted in the stool.

3. Diarrhea reduces appetite.

4. The body becomes weak.

5. Thin stools are usually excreted more than four times a day.

6. There is severe pain in the abdomen and many times the stomach gets cramps repeatedly.

7. The fever is not very intense. In most cases, the body is a little warm.

8. Vomiting occurs early during diarrhea. Later in many cases, vomiting decreases (4) & (6).

3. Constipation

Constipation is a very common disease. It is also a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome. Constipation means that the stool is not excreted properly from the rectum or there is difficulty in defecation due to hardness in the stool.

It affects people of all ages. Although it is not a serious problem, it is a problem of extreme discomfort. Sometimes it also turns into a painful problem. There are some symptoms of constipation.

1. Defecation less often than usual.

2. Flatulence is a symptom of constipation.

3. Small, dry, and hard stools are excreted.

4. Extreme difficulty in defecation.

5. It takes longer for a person with constipation to defecate.

6. Feeling of pain around the anus and in the lower abdomen.

7. The stomach is not completely clear in this disease (2) & (3).

4. Alternating diarrhea and constipation

A person with irritable bowel syndrome sometimes has symptoms of diarrhea or sometimes has symptoms of constipation. But never do symptoms appear in a person’s body at the same time. About 20% of people with irritable bowel syndrome suffer from alternating diarrhea and constipation (4).

In addition to the above symptoms, the following symptoms appear in the body of an IBS-infected person.

  • Fatigue is seen in the body of a person suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. More than half of people with IBS show signs of fatigue.
  • Difficulty sleeping is also a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome. People with Irritable bowel syndrome have symptoms such as falling asleep, waking up frequently, insomnia, etc.
  • More gas is produced in the large intestine of a person with irritable bowel syndrome. As a result, the stomach bloats and various noises in the stomach.
  • Symptoms such as indigestion, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, and mild headaches can be seen in a person with irritable bowel syndrome (2) & (8).

Causes of irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndromes is a disorder of the colon or large intestine. This disease occurs for various reasons. Medical science has not found the primary causes of irritable bowel syndrome.

However, there are currently a number of specific causes for this disease. There is a relation between the intestine and the brain through the use of the nerve system and hormones in the body.

Those systems affect bowel function and symptoms. When people are under severe stress, the nerves become very active. As a result, the intestines become sensitive. The following are the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (3).

1. Muscle contraction

Irritable bowel syndrome occurs as a result of muscle contraction in the colon.

2. Food habit change

Sudden change in food habits is a cause of IBS.

3. Extra hot or cold food

Taking extra hot or cold food causes irritable bowel syndrome.

4. Bacterial cause

Various bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella flexneri, Escherichia coli, vibrio, etc. live in the intestine. All of these bacteria cause ulcers in the intestine, which is the leading cause of IBS.

5. Irregular timing 

Irritable bowel syndrome is caused by not taking food at the right time.

6. Sleep deprive

This disease is affected by the human body as a result of not getting enough sleep.

7. Weak nervous system

Sometimes this disease is due to the weakness of the nervous system.

8. Insufficient water intake

Irritable bowel syndrome is caused by not drinking enough water and not consuming high-fiber foods.

9. Hormonal

Another cause of IBS in the woman’s body is hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.

10. Medication

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can also be caused by overuse of steroids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.

11. Dairy products

IBS disease is caused by eating certain foods such as chocolate, coffee, dairy products, etc.

12. Fast food

Irritable bowel syndrome is also caused by overeating of carbohydrate foods, fast foods, spicy foods, reduced physical activity, anxiety, etc.

13. Diseases

This intestine disorder is often caused by various diseases such as diabetes, cerebral hemorrhage, tumors, thyroid problems, intestinal cancer, chronic kidney disease, etc. (2) & (6).

Ways to prevent irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is not completely preventable, but there are some ways to temporarily cure it.

  • Need to drink more water.
  • Stimulant drinks such as tea, coffee, etc. should be avoided.
  • Diet should not be changed and food should be taken at the right time.
  • Sugar, sugary chewing gum, chocolate, and sweet drinks must be avoided because these will increase stomach problems.
  • Easily taken digestible carbohydrates foods like rice, potatoes, bananas, papaya, etc.
  • Excessive intake of fiber (in case of IBS-C).
  • Mental stress also affects irritable bowel syndrome. To avoid mental stress.
  • Each food causes different reactions in the human body. Therefore, foods that cause irritable bowel syndrome should be avoided.
  • People with irritable bowel syndrome should avoid processed foods such as chips and cookies, dairy products especially cheese, etc.
  • Spicy and salty foods should not be eaten.
  • A small amount of food should be taken repeatedly without taking too much food at once.
  • Above all, a doctor should be consulted to get rid of this disease (3) & (7).

Home remedies for irritable bowel syndrome

Medical science was not so advanced in the past. So in the past, home remedies were used to treat any disease. But present day with the advancement of medical science, the use of these home remedies is decreasing. But this home remedy can cure the disease and it works slowly. Here are some home remedies to get rid of irritable bowel syndrome.

1. Mustard seeds

It contains some antibacterial ingredients which are very beneficial home remedies for IBS-D (diarrhea). Mix 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds in one teaspoon of water and keep it for 1 hour. Drinking this water regularly can give temporary relief from IBS diarrhea.

2. Lemon juice

Has anti-inflammatory ingredients that help cleanse the stomach easily. Lemon also helps to destroy the harmful bacteria responsible for food poisoning.

3. Drinking a cup of warm water

Before going to bed at night, drinking a cup of warm water helps in digestion and relieves constipation. To cure the problem of IBS-C (constipation) one should drink a glass of hot water every night before going to bed.

4. Vinegar

The alkaline component of vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar helps in intestinal relief. As well as inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the stomach. So apple cider vinegar is a home ingredient for irritable bowel syndrome.

5. Aloe vera juice

Drinking aloe vera juice increases the amount of water in the intestines. The water in the intestines helps to clean the stool. So aloe vera juice is one of the best home remedies for irritable bowel syndrome.

6. Ginger

It should be used to reduce abdominal pain. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory ingredients. It helps reduce inflammation and reduces abdominal pain. Boil a few pieces of ginger in a cup of hot water mix a little honey in it and then drink it, which is very good for the stomach.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin. It works to reduce inflammation and helps to improve digestion

8. Molasses

Molasses contain high levels of magnesium, which is quite effective in increasing intestinal strength.

There are more home remedies like basil leaves, cold milk, fennel, cinnamon, whey, cloves, cumin water, banana, etc. help in controlling irritable bowel syndrome (5) & (7).