IBS and Visceral Hypersensitivity
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder that has recently been linked to visceral hypersensitivity. We have all has those scary moments when our intestines simply don’t feel as though they are working the way that they should. Whether it is cramps, diarrhea, constipation, or what have you, everyone experiences some form on digestive upset once in a while. When these issues remain for an extended period, it is possible that one might be dealing with IBS and visceral hypersensitivity. It is estimated that around 20 percent of all adults are diagnosed with IBS at some point, which makes it a fairly common condition. Let’s see what IBS and visceral hypersensitivity have to do with one another.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short, is a disorder that affects the large intestine. There are two main forms of IBS, one being in the form of diarrhea, referred to as IBS-D, and the other in the form of constipation, referred to as IBS-C. That being said, it is also possible to experience both types of IBS during different “attacks”. There are plenty of different triggers for IBS, and a person suffering from IBS-D will suffer diarrhea as a result of their intestines forcing food through at a faster pace than it normally would. This is simply the intestines’ response to whatever triggered the attack. Those who suffer from IBS-C, on the other hand, suffer from constipation as a result of the food being pushed too slowly through the intestines.
You might be wondering what sort of things can trigger IBS. The truth is that it was believed for a long time that IBS was purely a psychosomatic condition, meaning that the mind has created the onset of the illness, because it was often diagnosed in individuals who were under quite a bit of stress. Stress truly is one of the leading causes of this disorder; however research has discovered that it is not the only cause behind IBS. IBS can be linked to the contents of a person’s diet, particularly if that diet contains things like alcohol, chocolate, and milk—all of which can be harsh on the digestive process. The best way to detect which foods are the cause of a person’s IBS, they must carefully monitor their body’s response to certain foods. This can be tricky, as some people have a natural intolerance to the protein in milk as well as caffeine and artificial sweeteners. This intolerance is different from IBS, but often produces the same symptoms of digestive upset.
Symptoms of IBS
There are many symptoms of IBS but not all of them are shared by those diagnosed with this disorder. The severity of which the symptoms affect an individual depends on their body and their situation. The most common symptoms shared among IBS sufferers are abdominal pain that is often accompanied by excessive gassiness and even bloating. We all experience these symptoms on occasion, but someone who suffers from IBS is likely to experience them much more often than the average Joe. An IBS sufferer may also experience mucous in their stool, but this is not seen in all cases. Further symptoms can crop up as a result of constipation or diarrhea such as hemorrhoids, anal discomfort, and bleeding. Typically these symptoms will clear up with the treatment of IBS.
Some people find that the symptoms can be cleared with the use of over-the-counter medications such as anti-gas or anti-bloating products. Others may need to procure a prescription that has a little more strength behind it. The main treatment is to learn to control the symptoms and pin-point the triggers of this condition so that they can be avoided altogether.
Visceral hypersensitivity has earned itself quite a notorious reputation of causing a number of gastrointestinal issues, but especially IBS. But what is visceral hypersensitivity, you ask? Simply put, it is the feeling of pain in one’s organs. Well, it may not exactly be true pain, but rather a sensation more similar to pressure or discomfort. It is thought that visceral hypersensitivity could be one of the initial triggers for symptoms such as abdominal cramps, stomach pains, and bloating. Little is known about visceral hypersensitivity, but it is supposed that whatever triggers a person’s IBS is likely also a trigger for hypersensitivity of the viscera.