If you suffer from IBS, you will be all too familiar with how your gut functions and all of the problems that entails. While it shares similarities with colorectal cancer, IBS is a condition in its own right and can cause a range of debilitating symptoms if left unchecked. Your doctor is the first person to consult, but here are five things you need to know about handling IBS.
Your Symptoms Are Unique to You
People with IBS have unique symptoms, and this is true for you as well. While there are general associated side effects to watch out for like bloating, IBS weight gain, abdominal pain, or any changes in bowel habits, you may suffer in different ways when compared to other patients. It is important to note all of your symptoms and keep an active diary to show to your healthcare provider or private treatment service.
It May Be Confused with Colorectal Cancer
Unfortunately, there have been instances of IBS patients who are misdiagnosed with colorectal cancer. To answer, ‘can IBS cause positive cologuard test,’ it is sometimes the case that this is entirely possible. The symptoms often overlap, but if cancer is present then there will be other things too like weight loss and significant blood in the stool. If you have any concerns at all, it is always worth having a conversation.
There is a Range of Support
Though struggling with any chronic condition is often isolating and can lead to a range of mental health complications, it is good to note that there is a range of IBS nutrition support and more available if you know where to look. Whether you are gaining weight with IBS or want an IBS test at home option, help is out there and you should absolutely explore all of the options. For instance, it is very common for IBS and food intolerance to go hand in hand, but your doctor may not provide many options in this area. Yet, it could save you so much pain and help you manage the condition better by being in the know.
Symptoms Can Be Exacerbated
It is not always widely known that IBS can actually be exacerbated by external factors like stress and lack of sleep. However, these things are closely related and major stress or anxiety can and will make your symptoms significantly worse or even cause a flare up after a pain free period. You are, for instance, at particular risk if you have a current stomach bug because everything in your body is vulnerable. So, it is definitely worth minimising external stressors and working on your general well-being.
Lifestyle Changes Often Help
If you can take the time to explore simple lifestyle changes, you may notice a big difference in how your symptoms manifest and the general level of pain you experience on a daily basis. Things like changing your diet and watching out for triggers are useful, as are getting enough sleep and embracing some form of physical exercise regularly too.
IBS is a hard thing to live with, but it is possible to ease symptoms and move forward if you invest in the process.