Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a fairly common condition that tends to be a lifelong battle. It affects the large intestine and results in uncomfortable symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, gas, as well as diarrhea, and constipation (or both). It’s one thing to have a stomach ache after eating something off or having trouble going to the bathroom, but for people with IBS, their symptoms can be debilitating.
While the exact reason why someone develops this condition is largely unknown, we are aware of some causes and triggers that can worsen the symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the most common triggers and causes of irritable bowel syndrome…
Cause: Muscle Contractions in the Intestine
Ever wondered how the food we eat can move through the body? Maybe not…it’s not exactly common table talk, but we’re going to assume most people have a general understanding. If not, here it goes…There are muscles in the intestines that contract to help move digested food along. While these muscle contractions are necessary to properly digest food, if they aren’t working properly they can cause (or worsen) the symptoms of IBS. For example, “contractions that are stronger and last longer than normal can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools,” writes the Mayo Clinic.