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Irritable bowel: patients affected by this pathology are growing in Italy

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Medical excellence

What is irritable bowel? We speak of irritable bowel syndrome or spastic colitis to identify a set of chronic intestinal disorders: in this pathology the appearance of the intestine is normal and does not present any abnormality in the intestinal anatomy, but leads however to have a series of symptoms that may include abdominal pain and cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating followed by bloating and mucus in the stools.

This pathology, as estimated by a recent research carried out by the specialized website for gastroenterology , belonging to the online booking portal , would affect around 10% of the population, especially women, with a higher prevalence rate from 20 to 50 years old.

How to diagnose irritable bowel disease?

Diagnosis is by no means simple because, as we have said, the symptoms are common to many other intestinal pathologies.

In practice, in fact, gastroenterologist specialists proceed with a step-by-step approach: the specialist will carry out an accurate anamnesis aimed at knowing the patient's clinical history. The diagnosis will therefore be of a differential type: it is a type of approach in which we tend to exclude pathologies whose symptoms resemble or overlap with that of the irritable bowel, since to date there is no specific diagnostic test.

The specialist will evaluate which instrumental tests are most suitable for the specific situation: in fact, a gastroscopy is often prescribed to rule out celiac disease, whose symptoms may resemble those of the irritable bowel.

What are the causes of irritable bowel?

To date there is no clear information on the origin of irritable bowel. What is certain is that the direct correlation between the irritable colon and the recurrence over time of conditions of stress, anxiety, negative emotions in the patient's life would seem to be known by now. These practical factors then add up to a sedentary lifestyle, messy and low-fiber diet, alcohol intake, caffeine, smoking, all very common situations in our society.

Focusing on stress, it is also known that it is a determining factor for the onset of this pathology. In fact, when stress is repeated, it could lead to a weakened immune system, hypersensitivity of the colon and a greater chance of contracting infections. All aspects that are found in patients affected by this pathology and that explain its contributing causes.

Is there a cure for irritable bowel?

To date, the treatment for irritable bowel has as its objective the reduction of symptoms and the improvement of the quality of life of patients.

The severity of the condition greatly affects the choice of treatments adopted. In fact, in less serious clinical cases, doctors may consider the use of an effective anti-stress therapy, the constant practice of physical exercise, an appropriate night's rest and the adoption of a dietary plan, which excludes all those foods suspected of causing the appearance of typical symptoms of irritable bowel. In the most important clinical cases, doctors consider it essential to add ad hoc pharmacological therapy to the aforementioned remedies and, sometimes, even resort to psychotherapy.

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