IBS is poorly understood because it is badly categorized - doctors focus on the gut problems as they are the symptom that link the largest number of people with similar and somewhat overlapping symptoms.
There are people with gut problems that are diagnosed with IBS.
Others however experience more severely other problems, which occur alongside with the abnormal speed of passing food through the gut. These people are also diagnosed with IBS.
The efficient treatment varies across individuals, because the source of the problem varies - and all confusion spurs from doctors' effort to tie all symptoms around the most obvious and widely experienced complaint.
My condition seems to be mostly affected by stress. Cases similar to mine don't seem to find diets very helpful - eating habits are related, however if the source of the problem is not in the guts, there's no hope to treat effectively with diets. A friend of mine shared most of my physical symptoms to do with the gut and got better just by remembering his fruits, more fibre, more liquids and so on. That barely does anything for me. - IF THE SAME CONDITION IS NOT CURED BY THE SAME TREATMENT, THEN WE ARE NOT OBSERVING THE SAME CONDITION.
For the few people around who are directing their hope towards antidepressants:
1. Even if you're diagnosed with IBS, antidepressants might not affect your gut problems at all. Your best option might be proper eating.
2. All my gut symptoms are to do with stress, however, antidepressants were mostly bad in my experience. Synthetic drugs that screw with levels of hormones are quite dangerous and not too helpful.
The chemical reactions related to coping with stress don't seem to occur in a normal fashion for some people diagnosed with IBS. That explains why many of us also suffer from anxiety disorders/ panic attacks/ depression... and many other conditions that are more often attributed to the psychological state. Whatever the initial cause may be - misuse of drugs that play with serotonine levels/ persistent stress factors/ post traumatic stress - the important effect I think is the further inability of the body and mind to cope with stress - in chemical terms levels of hormones are NOT ADEQUATE TO THE CURRENT NEEDS OF THE BODY. That would explain why people get panic attack - overreaction of the body to a minor or no apparent stimulus; "Irritability of the bowel" - also can be made sense of as an inadequate reaction of the body to the current conditions ( as someone mentioned above - eating a toast can make him/her unwell).
I will leave it to the doctors to further explain the relationships between hormones responsible for mood,stress reactions, bowel movements... but my conclusion is that research should go in that direction. If doctors seek cure they ought to seek a proper understanding of the condition first.
Antidepressants may help to establish a pattern in a previously reactive or underactive body, but they do a lot of damage in the meantime. What DOES help with much less unwanted effects are natural equivalents ( many people with IBS claim that weed is one of the few helpful things) ; yoga; exercise - in short all things that have an effect on mood. If one manages to find a harmless thing(preferably not weed) that has a positive effect on one's mood and turns that into a routine then levels of hormones should go back to normal and one's ability to cope with stress should return.
I think IBS is such a problem in developed countries because people don't exercise regularly and enough. If they do, they do it too abruptly and cause more stress to their bodies than anything else. If I were researching IBS I'd find 100 IBS patients with the most severe symptoms, let them eat whatever the hell they feel like and put them on yoga and mild regular exercise. My bet is the ones that had mood issues and irritable bowel as a result would be happy fit and healthy in 3/5 months. If anyone around is up for it, we can make this ourselves I am sure it will do more good than harm unlike all the antidepressants, other drugs and more stress doctors usually put their patients through! 0 votes
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