IBS is short for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

It’s a digestive condition that affects the large bowel. For some people, the symptoms are quite mild and can be managed with lifestyle changes. For others, IBS has severe symptoms that require medication. They may even need counseling to deal with the emotional impact of the disease. Sometimes people mistake the symptoms of IBS for other common digestive ailments. Being familiar with the symptoms could help you to recognize IBS in your aging relative, allowing them to get treatment sooner. Here are 5 signs of IBS.


#1: Abdominal Pains and Cramps

This is the symptom that people with IBS most frequently encounter. They feel it in their lower abdomen or in their whole abdomen. It happens when the signals that control digestion, including hormones and nerve signals, become confused. They cause the muscles to work in an uncoordinated manner and creates tension in the digestive tract. The pain usually feels better after the person has a bowel movement.


#2: Diarrhea

Loose stools are a common symptom with IBS. This occurs because stool moves more rapidly than normal through the digestive tract. This can also cause the person to have more frequent bowel movements. In addition, the need to have a bowel movement may be more urgent.


#3: Constipation

Many people with IBS experience constipation. This can happen when the signals that move stool through the tract become confused and cause movement to slow to a point where too much water is absorbed.


#4: Gas and Bloating

Changes in digestion can cause gas to form in the gut. A build-up of gas can cause bloating. This is one of the more common symptoms, occurring in about 83 percent of IBS sufferers. People with IBS often say that gas and bloating are the worst part of having the disease.


#5: Problems Caused by Certain Foods

Most people with IBS say that eating specific foods makes symptoms appear. About two-thirds of people with IBS report avoiding at least one food. Many exclude multiple foods from their diets. Which foods trigger symptoms varies for different people.

If your aging relative suffers from IBS, home care can help them to manage the symptoms. If the doctor has prescribed medications, a home care provider can remind them to take it. Home care providers can also make meals that avoid trigger foods and conform to dietary suggestions made by medical professionals. A home care provider can also help the senior to get to the bathroom quickly and safely when the need is urgent.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Elizabeth, PA, talk to the caring staff at Superior Home Care today. Call us at 412.754.2600