What causes irritable bowel syndrome?
What causes irritable bowel syndrome? What factors trigger it?
Irritable bowel syndrome or irritable colon (IBS) is a digestive disease that can become disabling. It has a strong component of nervous or psychological origin, which produces alterations in the depositional rhythm (constipation, diarrhea or alternation between the two).
Main causes of irritable bowel. The disease has a strong component of nervous origin.
The causes of irritable bowel are not known. Several hypotheses have been and still are very controversial, attributed to different factors or a possible combination between all of them:
Emotional causes of irritable bowel
In many cases the appearance of irritable bowel or the major manifestations of this disease occur in situations or times of high stress, anxiety, nervousness or depression, which may indicate a nervous or psychological origin.
Among the most common feelings are:
Anxiety, depression, nervousness, chronic stress
Hostility, irritable character
It may be that people affected by irritable bowel have previously suffered some type of abuse or mistreatment.
For all these reasons it is considered necessary to include in the treatment of the irritable bowel a psychological therapy and to learn relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or yoga. It has been shown that psychological control is effective in improving symptoms.
Digestive diseases that produce irritable bowel
Another possibility is an intolerance to wheat (gluten), lactose or other foods.
It must be determined what affectation is treated through a complete assessment and diagnosis, made by a doctor.
Other causes of irritable bowel
There may be a genetic component because some people with IBS have a family history of the same disease.
Irritable bowel appears more frequently in people with tension headache (stress), thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and interstitial cystitis (painful bladder).
How does irritable bowel take place?
People with irritable bowel have a digestive reaction that can involve exaggerated contractions of this part of the intestine, which causes cramps and pain, in addition to producing diarrhea, constipation or alternating periods of both symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome is caused by changes in intestinal peristalsis. Peristalsis are the muscular movements that occur in the intestine to advance food through it until they are transported to the rectum to be expelled to the outside. (See more information about Intestine characteristics)
A “normal” intestine produces a more or less uniform and controlled peristaltic rhythm. In the case of people affected by irritable bowel, contractions can occur in greater numbers which leads to an excessive increase in bowel movements, with the corresponding urgent need to go to the bathroom.
Other times, the number of contractions may be abnormally low, resulting in periods of constipation. In this case, the seeds of psyllium or ispágula can help regulate the rhythm (you must take it with abundant water).
More information on irritable colon and its natural treatment.