Having a Flare Up? How Long Do IBS Symptoms Last?
How Long Can IBS Symptoms Last?
If you've suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), then chances are you are well aware that it can be quite complicated to map out a cure but more possible to create a road to recovery.
IBS symptoms often flare up after eating or drinking, and an attack may last 2-4 days. As should be expected with anything medical, signs and symptoms vary considerably between individuals. Once you have one or two episodes of IBS, you should consider consulting a doctor and creating a plan to minimize it's negative impact on your life.
Simply put, there is no distinct or surefire way to beat IBS, but the good news is that since it is so prevalent in today's society — according to John Hopkins Health Library, nearly 15% of Americans are affected, it is way more researched and thoroughly discussed than ever before. And that is good news.
Treatment for IBS
One of the most highly recognized symptoms of IBS is "abdominal pain or discomfort associated with a change in your bowel habits." There can be a whole other host of symptoms as well with everything from bloating, cramping, distress, painful bowel movements, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, migraine headaches and anxiety. Which goes to show that since there can be so many varied IBS related symptoms, there's not just one way to treat the syndrome.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are usually four schools of thoughts for treatment of IBS:
- dietary changes
- alternative therapies
As far as any dietary changes go, it should all be discussed with a nutritionist, but looking at one's diet (especially if bloating and abdominal pain are at the top of your symptoms), because what type of food you are eating on a regular basis could be a key factor.
Visiting your healthcare practitioner is always your best bet because as there are usually medications that can be prescribed or even psychotherapy as there is a "strong connection between the nervous system and colonic function." According to John Hopkins, stress can almost always play an "important role in the frequency and severity of symptoms" for someone who suffers from IBS.
Emotional Triggers and Stress
It may sound hard to believe, but there can even be emotional triggers that cause distress on one's system that can worsen IBS symptoms. One might consider cognitive behavioral therapy or from there, some good alternative methods could be acupuncture or even massage.
The one important thing to remember about IBS is that you are never alone and there is help that exists. It may take some time and seem frustrating along the way, but it is so well researched and talked about in today's climate that you will find answers. Visit your doctor (maybe more than one) and be persistent and you will find your way.
Written by Ashley Connell