Women’s Health: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Physical Therapy

By: | Tags: , | Comments: 0 | July 23rd, 2018

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal health problem that affects about ten to twenty percent of Americans and occurs in women more than men. IBS, also known as spastic colon, affects the large intestine and creates mild to severe symptoms that last from three days per month to three months per year.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

IBS symptoms include abdominal pain, constipation, bloating and gas, cramping and diarrhea. Both constipation and diarrhea are the most common symptoms. Bloating and gas generally go away once a bowel movement occurs.

What causes IBS?

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but doctors believe that there are factors that have a tremendous role in IBS symptoms. The factors may include abnormalities in the nerves which are found in your digestive system, overly sensitive colon, muscle contractions in the digestive tract, inflammation on the intestines, changes in bacteria found in the gut and sever infection.

Are there any triggers of IBS?

One of the main treatments of IBS is to recognize the triggers and avoid them. Certain foods, anxiety and stress are common triggers that create IBS symptoms. Fried foods, dairy, beans and sugars should be consumed in moderation or even be eliminated in your diet. Adding peppermint, ginger and chamomile has been known to help reduce some IBS symptoms. Recognizing these factors and their symptoms can definitely help reduce the symptoms.

IBS in women

Symptoms: Woman who experience IBS may also experience insomnia, fatigue, backaches, painful menstruation, food sensitivity, cramping and premenstrual syndromes.

Menstruation: IBS tends to affect women around their time of menstruation. In fact, menopausal women do not experience as many symptoms as those that are still menstruating each month. Many women have reported that they experience an increase in abdominal pain and diarrhea prior to their menstrual period as well as during their menstrual period.

Sex: Many women experience a decrease in sexual desire as they have discomfort and pain during intercourse.

Endometriosis: Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus. There seems to be a correlation between women with endometriosis and the frequency of IBS related symptoms.

Pregnancy: Pregnancy may also have an impact on IBS as many women have reported that their bowel movements and/or constipation increased during pregnancy.

Quality of Life: Many women with IBS feel depressed and isolated. With frequent bathroom breaks, pain and general discomfort many women find it harder to function at work, home and in social situations.

At Oklahoma Physical Therapy our women’s health specialist will partner with you to create a customized treatment plan. The treatment plan may include trigger point dry needle, hot and cold therapy, TENS, education and exercises.

Contact us today at 405-749-6281 or visit us at www.oklahomaphysicaltherapy.com/make-appointment/ to make an appointment.

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