Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is basically an oversensitivity of the colon, or large intestine. In IBS, the colon muscle contracts too easily and this causes abdominal pain, gas, cramps, bloating and other symptoms. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a disease, but rather a disorder. It’s considered a functional disorder because the proper functioning of the bowel is affected. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also sometimes called spastic colon or colitis.
In a normally functioning digestive system, food that reaches the colon or large intestine from the stomach and small intestine gets squeezed so that it moves along the digestive tract. But, in cases of IBS the squeezing motion is no longer well-controlled by the body and the food then moves either too slowly resulting in constipation or too quickly resulting in diarrhea.
In addition to constipation and diarrhea, common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include pain and discomfort in the abdomen, cramping, bloating and gas. White mucus may be present in the stool. Sometimes only the mucus is passed rather than a stool. Bowel movements are often irregular and may alternate between periods of constipation and diarrhea. Women many find that IBS symptoms are worse during their menstrual periods.
IBS symptoms may lessen after having a bowel movement or passing gas. Some sufferers of IBS may experience diarrhea a half an hour or so after meals. The most notable first symptom of irritable bowel syndrome is any change in bowel habits. There may also be more of a sense of urgency to get to the bathroom as well as the feeling that there is still more to pass after completing a bowel movement.
The first symptoms of IBS usually occur between the ages of 15 and 40. More women than men develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome and IBS symptoms are likely to be more severe in women than they are in men.
The exact causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are unknown, but stress is thought to contribute to the development of and aggravate the symptoms of IBS. When an IBS sufferer is under emotional and/or physical stress, his or her symptoms are likely to get worse. Travel as well as changes in rest and work routines may also cause stronger IBS symptoms.
Not eating a balanced diet can also cause IBS symptoms to become worse. Eating too much at once may result in increased bloating and abdominal pain. Smaller meals are often recommended for IBS sufferers. Eating too often, however, will often cause the bowel muscles to contract too much which causes cramping and diarrhea. Lack of fiber is especially associated with the presence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Some people suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome may feel an urgency to get to the bathroom before being able to finish their meal. Not only do bowel muscles contract to cause cramping and diarrhea, but the nerves also may be affected when the bowel is stretched. This can result in pain. There is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but it doesn’t cause injury to the colon or digestive system. IBS does not cause other health problems even though it can cause a lot of pain.
Natural colon cleansing supplements are high in fiber thanks to great fiber sources such as the plant, psyllium. Psyllium is an important source of dietary fiber in supplements as many of us don’t eat enough high fiber foods. Adequate fiber intake is especially important to those suffering with IBS as fiber can improve the functioning of the intestines and digestive system.
The psyllium fiber found in natural colon cleansing supplements can help relieve IBS symptoms as it promotes regularity. Fiber consumption may greatly reduce bloating, pain and other symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Psyllium fiber can soften hard stools and make them easier to pass, yet it can also help stools to be more consistent in texture so it also works for IBS sufferers with diarrhea.
There are many more benefits of natural colon cleansing supplements for IBS sufferers than just increased regularity from the psyllium fiber. The great variety of herbs in natural colon cleansing supplements means that relief of many IBS symptoms is possible.
For example, natural colon cleansing supplements that contain aloe vera may help to relieve the abdominal cramps associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Aloe vera has been known since ancient times to have healing properties and is a popular and effective colon cleansing ingredient.
Peppermint is another helpful ingredient for IBS sufferers and it is found in many natural herbal colon cleansers. Peppermint has properties that help with many digestive problems. It can relax the muscle contractions that occur in Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers. This can decrease the bloating and abdominal pain that IBS sufferers experience.