- Myth: IBS is not a serious illness
Nearly every aspect of your life, including your relationships and employment, can be impacted by IBS.
An IBS victim speaks after requesting that her full last name not be used. Many of her friends and even many doctors she saw acted like her symptoms were nothing. Yet she lived with gas and terrible pain for more than a decade before I finally saw an IBS specialist.
She claims that the progress she achieved with the assistance of a dietician and a gastroenterologist demonstrated how severe her illness had been. She remarks, “It’s like night and day.” “My life is so much more pleasurable, and my symptoms are substantially improved. I’m in agony, but I can play with my grandchildren for hours on end.”
- Myth: Several tests are required in order to diagnose or treat a condition
The symptoms you describe are the primary means by which a doctor will diagnose IBS. Many patients with IBS symptoms delay visiting a doctor because they believe they will need numerous costly or invasive tests, explains Houston Methodist Hospital gastroenterology and liver specialist.
However, most people don’t require testing.
What matters most is how you feel your symptoms are impacting your life.
Your doctor may prescribe tests like blood tests or a colonoscopy if you have concerning symptoms, such as blood in your stool.
- Myth: IBS is caused by stress or anxiety
Experts are unsure about the cause of the illness in humans. However, it’s obvious that your thoughts are not the cause.
While stress and despair may exacerbate symptoms, IBS is not a mental health condition. It is stated that the condition is not brought on by feelings or ideas.
Hear it from a 2012-diagnosed patient- “I was always told that IBS only affects people who are high strung or who have high anxiety, which makes their bodies react in a painful way,” she says, “Since I have a stress-free personality and don’t sweat the small stuff, at first I didn’t like being put in that category.” She now clarifies to anyone who is confused that she actually has IBS and that it is not just a mental illness.
- Myth: The symptoms of IBS can only be reduced by a rigorous diet
Sometimes dietary adjustments might have an impact. However, not everyone responds well to them, and they cannot treat IBS.
“For years, well-meaning people recommended all different kinds of eating plans to me,” she says. “It was such a relief when my doctor and dietitian explained to me that in my case, food wasn’t to blame for my symptoms.” Consult your physician about any dietary adjustments that might be beneficial for you. Gas, bloating, and pain can be reduced for some IBS sufferers by reducing their intake of foods like beans, veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, and sugar replacements like xylitol.
- Myth: There is no difference between lactose intolerance and IBS
Your body cannot digest lactose, a natural sugar present in milk and dairy products if you have lactose intolerance. It produces flatulence and other digestive issues. However, no particular food is to blame for IBS.
“For some people, reducing or eliminating lactose does reduce IBS symptoms—but not everyone,” says a Vancouver, Canada-based registered dietitian, who specializes in digestive health. IBS is typically only relieved by avoiding lactose in conjunction with other dietary modifications, such as eating more fiber and fewer legumes.
- Myth: IBS may be cured with fiber
The indigestible portion of carbohydrates called fiber can help relieve constipation brought on by IBS. However, it’s not a remedy. In fact, for some patients, the condition first makes bloating and pain worse.
If you get constipation as a result of your disease, gradually increase the amount of fiber in your diet to give your body time to adjust.
- Myth: IBS is caused by yeast
Some claim that yeast, namely the kind known as candida, is connected to the illness. Although this bacteria is naturally present in everyone’s stomach, some scientists believe that excessive amounts of it can cause IBS. They contend that you can lessen candida and get better symptoms if you cut out yeast and sugar from your diet.
However, science currently indicates differently.
There’s no research to prove that sensitivity to yeast [in foods like bread and beer] causes IBS.
If you believe that carbohydrates or yeast exacerbate your illness, discuss your concerns with your physician or a gut-healthy dietician to determine the best course of action.
- Myth: IBS is only diagnosed by doctors using “fancy tests.”
Doctors informed us that IBS can be diagnosed without fancy tests. In five years, physicians may diagnose IBS with 97% accuracy if the proper clinical criteria are followed. Such accuracy is unmatched in the medical world by any other test.
The diagnosis of IBS is made using the Rome IV criteria, which states that patients with IBS should report symptoms of abdominal pain in relation to a change in stool frequency, a change in stool form, and/or relief or worsening of abdominal pain related to defecation at least once weekly on average.
IBS can be divided into different subtypes, with the most common symptoms being constipation, diarrhea, or a mixed pattern. Bloating is a common symptom among patients, but it is not necessary to use this one to diagnose a condition, the patient continued.
- Myth: IBS can be cured
IBS can be treated in a variety of methods, with a combination of prescription drugs and individualized lifestyle modifications. Doctors promise that in the vast majority of cases, management is very low-cost and straightforward: exercise, probiotics, fiber, and reassurance.
As they put it, taking medication can be a “trial and error” process. However, when combined with other treatments, it can aid in the relief of IBS symptoms.
Doctors have also stated that there is ultimately no cure for IBS and that sometimes medicine just [works] like a plaster for symptom relief. Prescriptions for drugs, such as antibiotics used to treat bacterial overgrowth, need to be repeated. In the end, IBS cannot be cured.
- Myth: IBS is rare and has little effect on life quality.
According to doctors, IBS is often a chronic, debilitating, and common disorder of the gut-brain interaction.
According to them, it can have a major impact on patients’ quality of life and is associated with increased healthcare costs with a prevalence of 10-15% in North America.
- Myth: Exercise of all kinds benefits IBS.
Doctors have also acknowledged that not all forms of exercise are the same and that some do help with IBS.
Competitive exercise actually creates tension rather than relieves it. The same is true for lifting weights in the gym; you need to be very aware of the type of weight you’re using, and how you’re pulling and pressing each muscle.
Additionally, they have also mentioned that after running for extended periods, many runners experience “runner’s run,” or diarrhea. They have cautioned that as a result, extended jogging sessions may exacerbate IBS symptoms.
- Myth: Meditation is beneficial
While some research on meditation and IBS symptoms is ongoing, but it may help reduce symptoms. We are still learning about the brain-gut-microbiome axis and how it contributes to IBS. It has been demonstrated that gut-directed psychotherapies help reduce symptoms of IBS.
Children’s perception and interpretation of signals from the gut may be positively affected, potentially alleviating symptoms of IBS. Research has demonstrated that meditation and mindfulness can help stimulate changes in the brain and how we process thoughts, sensations, and emotional responses.
That being said, individuals may benefit from different forms of meditation in different ways. Doctors suggest “mindless meditation,” which is walking the same route for 30 minutes every day until one becomes so bored that they cease to notice their surroundings, albeit it might not be effective for everyone.
You practice meditation and stroll together throughout that contemplative walk. Rebooting your system is a stress reducer. However, it takes a lot of experience. One minute out of every fifteen that you attempt to complete may fall into that zone after a year.
- Myth: For IBS, natural remedies work well
Cardamom and peppermint oil are two natural therapies that have shown some potential to ease the symptoms of stomach ulcers and IBS. Natural cures may not be useful for everyone, though, as there hasn’t been much research done on them.
According to doctors, black cardamom seeds and spearmint are muscle relaxants for the gut, so they could reduce symptoms.
As long as the treatments aren’t made with really potent ingredients, people can attempt these natural therapies and others. People have been utilizing many herbal medicines for thousands of years without any issues, he continued.
However, consulting a physician is always advised before beginning a new course of treatment.
- A fast alleviation of IBS
Let’s say you have an engine, and it’s having trouble. You now switch it off. Of course, when it’s off, you might not experience any issues, but how long can you keep it off?
Therefore, you might feel fewer symptoms each day if you cut down on how often you eat—maybe from three to two times a day. It might be helpful, but it’s not always the best course of action.
But fasting has other benefits as well, like improving cognition and helping people lose weight.
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