Irritable Bowel: Symptoms, Causes and Home Remedies

What should we understand by Irritable Bowel?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder right away and succinctly.

So therefore, it is not the same, nor should it be confused with an inflammatory bowel disease, since this is a more severe condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract and can lead to more delicate complications than that of irritable bowel syndrome.


Symptoms of the syndrome include:

  • Colic or abdominal pain
  • Swelling
  • Gases
  • Alteration of bowel habits (alternate periods of diarrhea and constipation).

The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is currently unknown. It is believed to be the result of abnormal gastrointestinal movements, increased awareness of bodily functions, and an interruption in communication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract.

Irritable bowel with diarrhea

The most common symptoms include:

  • Sudden urgency to have bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Intestinal gas (flatulence)
  • Loose stools
  • Frequent stools
  • The sensation of not being able to empty the intestines
  •  Nausea

IBS-C is irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. The most common symptoms of IBS-C include:


  • Hard, lumpy stools
  • Efforts during bowel movements
  • Uncommon stools

A few years ago, a community of doctors and scientists found a new blood test that can help doctors diagnose some forms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome is diagnosed by exclusion, which means that a doctor first considers other alternatives, for example, conducting tests to rule out other medical problems.

Home remedies for irritable bowel syndrome

They include avoiding certain foods that “trigger” or worsen diarrhea, bloating, and gas, such as cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, wasabi, kale, and broccoli) and legumes (black beans, soy nuts), and fava beans).

Other home remedies to relieve the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include:

  • Adding fiber to the diet.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Avoiding soda.
  • Consuming smaller portions of meals.
  • Eating foods that are lower in fat and higher in carbohydrates.

Currently, there is no known cure for IBS. However, medical treatment for irritable bowel syndrome includes antispasmodic medications, antidiarrheal medications, antidepressants, laxatives, and other drugs.

The symptoms usually recur since irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic (long-term) disease.

Irritable bowel syndrome is also called spastic colon, functional bowel disease, and mucosal colitis. However … it is not a true “colitis” since the term colitis refers to a different group of abnormal conditions such as, for example, ulcerative colitis, as well as the so-called Crohn’s disease or the well-known microscopic colitis, but also ischemic colitis; and all are different conditions.

That is to say, from the list above. However, they are intestinal affections, and the consensus of the doctors does not have problems noting that they are other types of intestinal disease compared to irritable bowel syndrome.

The causes

Contrary to what many people might believe or think, it must be said that in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, it is not contagious, hereditary, or cancerous.

Interestingly, this syndrome occurs more often in women than men, and onset occurs before 35 in about half of the cases. IBS occurs in 5% to 20% of children.

IBS has also developed after episodes of gastroenteritis. It has also been suggested that IBS is caused by food allergies or food sensitivity, but this has not been proven.

Genetics is also suggested as a possible cause of IBS, but no genetic link has been found.

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may get worse during periods of stress or during menstruation. Still, these factors are unlikely to be the cause that leads to IBS development.

More about the symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects each person differently. The hallmark of IBS in adults and children is abdominal discomfort or pain. The following signs and symptoms are also common:

  • Abdominal cramps and pain relieved by bowel movements
  • Alternate periods of diarrhea and constipation

Those who mostly have diarrhea as a symptom have IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), characterized by sudden urges to have bowel movements, soft stools, frequent stools, abdominal pain and discomfort, and gas and feeling of being unable to empty the intestines.

In severe cases of IBS-D, people may lose control of their bowels. That is, the evacuations will be involuntary.

Those who mostly have constipation as a symptom are considered to have irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), which is characterized by the passage of hard, lumpy stools, straining during bowel movements, and infrequent stools:

  • Change in stool frequency or consistency
  • Gases (flatulence)
  • Mucus from the rectum
  • Swelling
  • Abdominal distension
  • Loss of appetite

Although it is not a symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it should be noted that it affects up to 70% of people with the syndrome in the case of indigestion.

The following are signs and symptoms or characteristics of IBS (but should still be brought to the attention of a health professional because they may be signs and symptoms of other conditions):

  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Vomiting (rare, although occasionally it may accompany nausea)
  • Pain or diarrhea that interrupts sleep
  • Fever
  • Weightloss

As mentioned at the beginning of this note, irritable bowel syndrome does not have a univocal and determining cause; on the contrary, its manifestation could perfectly obey several variables.

In this sense, and due to this indeterminability of the disease, it is always advised that you go to your GP in case of observing any or all of the symptoms indicated here.