Not feeling well makes it hard for anyone to handle their responsibilities. Stress has the ability to trigger many bowel issues, and with the stresses, fears, and interruptions of COVID-19, it’s important to be aware of any possibilities those issues are caused by.

A common issue related to stress and diet is Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. While not considers a “serious” illness, it can cause discomfort and interrupt life at the most inopportune times.

We’d like to help you understand what is happening and help you decide on the actions to take to diagnose and treat this nuisance bowel issue.

What is IBS?

IBS is most likely caused by diet, but the symptoms tend to be triggered by stress or changing hormones. Symptoms include pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and excessive gas. If any of these symptoms last longer than a few days or seem to reoccur regularly, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor.

You may be surprised to learn that IBS has also been associated with issues like fatigue, brain fog, and an inability to focus. It can also be associated with joint pain.

Nearly 12% of adults suffer from IBS, and it seems to affect women more often than men.

How to Deal with IBS

Many of the symptoms associated with IBS are common among other bowel diseases, making it hard to differentiate from other illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease.

Your doctor will want to review your diet, your stress load and any recent life changes, and possibly any hormonal changes that could be triggering your symptoms. 

While having IBS isn’t the same as having a food allergy, It’s necessary to eliminate all potential reasons for your discomfort.

Chronic stress is tied to many negative health issues, and bowel issues are included. Stress is a common trigger in IBS, so reviewing your stress load, any recent lifestyle changes, or any fear or trauma-related events may help identify what is triggering your symptoms.

Additionally, any hormonal changes, particularly with women, will need to be considered in order to correctly diagnose IBS. 

Scheduling an Appointment

Gastroenterology Consultants of Savannah can help diagnose IBS or any related bowel issue and can help you develop a treatment plan to help you get back to your life. 

Consider scheduling a Telemedicine appointment, where we can discuss your symptoms and decide if an in-person visit is necessary to understand your issues. Simply contact us online to get started.