Most people have experienced stomach cramps, bloating, and diarrhea at least once in their lives, so it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, you should feel concerned when it happens often and simultaneously.
Gastrointestinal disorders are far from fun. While it’s normal to let out a little gas or feel bloated after having a feast, abnormal changes in your bathroom habits are not. If you think you’re experiencing a more serious problem than ordinary bowel issues, you may be one of the 3-20% of Americans with IBS.
What Is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also referred to as spastic colon and mucous colitis, is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects the digestive system. This condition is composed of a group of intestinal symptoms that occur together. The symptoms you experience may vary in severity and duration.
IBS is a lifelong problem that can significantly impact your life, but luckily, it doesn’t increase your risk of developing a type of gastrointestinal cancer. However, this condition may cause intestinal damage, so make sure to visit a medical facility for treatment when it happens.
Anyone can develop IBS, but women are more inclined to have it than men. Experts don’t have a clear answer yet why females are more susceptible to IBS, but some research suggests that the condition is connected to estrogen and progesterone.
IBS Symptoms in Women
Since there are various symptoms related to IBS, it can be challenging to recognize that you have it. The symptoms can vary from mild to extreme, depending on the person, and the pain and bowel movements can also take many forms.
IBS symptoms typically show up during your childhood years and before the age of 40, but many women don’t even realize they have it. So to ensure that you can live as pain-free as possible, it’s essential to spot the symptoms as soon as they appear.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of IBS in women:
Constipation is one of the most common symptoms of IBS and is also more usual in females. This occurs when bowel movements become less frequent, and the stools are hard, dry, and difficult to pass.
This symptom is more prevalent in men, but females experience a worsening of diarrhea before starting their period. If you have loose stools three or more times a day, you’re most likely suffering from diarrhea.
Women usually experience bloating at one point in their menstrual cycle, but females with IBS experience it more often. In addition, certain gynecological conditions like endometriosis can also worsen your bloating.
If you have strong urges to urinate, feel pain while urinating, and urinate more frequently, especially at night, then there’s a high possibility that you have this urinary incontinence.
Chronic Pelvic Pain
Experiencing pain below the belly button is a common concern for women with IBS. The pain in the pelvic region could either be steady or intermittent and lasts for six months or longer.
IBS can be very frustrating to live with, having to manage the symptoms constantly. However, although this condition has no cure, you can control the symptoms with the necessary diet changes and medication. As long as you consult a trusted and skilled doctor, you’ll be able to live a relatively comfortable life, even with this condition!
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