Student’s Name: Marsha Ann Mascringhas Student’s Number: A1957 Class/Course: Foundation in Science Subject: English I Assignment Question: Diet and Health. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” Many people today, including children suffer from an ache localized in the stomach. This abdominal discomfort usually takes place in the stomach and intestines. This condition is known as the irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly known as (IBS), is a diet-related disease that causes significant abdominal discomfort involving the entire digestive tract (Martin Hughes, n. d. ).

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In simpler terms, it is a functional disorder whereby the large intestine fails to function properly as it should. It typically causes pain in the abdomen. Bowel refers to the part of the alimentary canal below the stomach which is the intestine. Irritable bowel syndrome occurs when symptoms, such as cramping, bloating, constipation and excessive diarrhea takes place. Statistics shows that the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome rates ranges from 9 to 23 percent worldwide while the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in the United States itself ranges from 10 to 15 percent (Statistics of (IBS), 2009).

There are many risk factors associated with irritable bowel syndrome. The major and most common risk factor includes gender, age, food sensitivities, and psychological health. To begin with, the predominant gender who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome is women. It is said that irritable bowel syndrome is two to three times more common in women than in men (Risk Factors of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 2005).

Reason being is because the fluctuation of hormones in the female menstrual cycle to some degree has contributed a greater occurrence of IBS (IBS and Menstruation, n. d. ). IBS can affect any person at any stage of development but people in their late twenties to early thirties are most likely to develop IBS. Dairy products such as sour cream, cheese, milk and butter are the most common food sensitivity trigger in IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Danger – High Fat Foods Ahead, n. d. ). Most dairy products contain components such as protein whey and casein.

Protein whey is a mixture of globular protein isolated from the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained as a by-product of cheese production and casein on the other hand, is the main protein present in milk and in coagulated form of cheese, which is used in processed food. These components can cause severe digestion problems. In addition to that, an excessive coffee intake can also cause irritant to the gastrointestinal tract because caffeine is a gastrointestinal stimulant (IBS Foods to Avoid, n. d. ).

Psychological conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, panic disorder and stress are also one of the many risk factors associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Fibromyalgia for instance, causes the widespread of muscle and soft tissue pain and tenderness which is one of the causes of IBS. Generally speaking, diet plays an imperative role in gastrointestinal tract so one of the many ways to lower down the risk of irritable bowel syndrome is to eat a healthy diet. It is important to cut down on fatty foods and caffeine intake as it increases the risk of BIS.

Eating in smaller portions eases the discomfort in the stomach. Besides that, exercising regularly on a daily basis lowers down body fat which eventually helps reduce the symptoms of IBS (Liza Barnes & Nicole Nichols, n. d. ). According to most researches, the hypersensitivity of the intestinal tract and the imbalance of the neurotransmitters are the leading factors that cause the symptoms of IBS to develop (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 2009). To begin with, the nerve that controls the muscle contractions in the bowels are found to be extra sensitive in people suffering from IBS.

The intestines are actually connected to the brain. This is known as the brain-gut connection. The gut is a long muscular tube that goes from the mouth to the anus. A nervous system known as the enteric nervous system (ENS) which is the gut’s brain is located in the covers of tissue lining the small intestine, stomach, colon, and the esophagus. So basically, this enteric nervous system is a part of the involuntary nervous system that is responsible for regulating the process of digestion (Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.

D. , 2011). These ENS are packed with neuron, neurotransmitters and proteins that flicks through messages between neuron or support cells found in brain. These ENS contains a complex circuitry that enables it to handle responsibility on its own, learn, remember and also, produces gut feelings (Jordan S. Rubin, n. d. ). Convoluted groupings of features including psychological hormones, immune system and stress especially are found to be interfering with the messages between the brain and the bowel.

This over-activity of messages sent from the brain to the gut causes the over-activity of the nerve and muscles of the gut (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 2011). Nerves in the gut that are experiencing extreme sensitivity can trigger fluctuations in the brain notably feelings, thoughts, and the triggering of parts of the brain that have to do with anxiety and agitation that will stimulate gut responses exaggeratedly (Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph. D. , 2011). This will cause cramping pain and abnormal muscle spasms which speeds up the passage of the stool causing diarrhea, constipation and bloating which are the symptoms of IBS.

Because the irritable bowel syndrome causes diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating and pain, a person who suffers from IBS are most likely to get celiac disease. Researchers have found very mild celiac disease in people who suffer from IBS. Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorptions of nutrients from food. For people who have celiac disease, they cannot tolerate a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat, called gluten.

Consuming food or using products containing gluten will damage or destroy the villi (Scott Adams, 1996). The villi allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. So, if the villi are damaged, the body is unable to absorb the vitamins needed by the body. Unfortunately, irritable bowel syndrome has no cure but it can be treated. The goal of the treatment is to relieve symptoms. The treatments involve diet, medicine and drugs, hypnotherapy, and psychological treatment.

Maintaining a balanced diet is utterly important. It is recommended that people with IBS to consume a large amount of fibre in their everyday-diet. Fibre helps to ease the IBS symptoms and prevent spasms. Vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peas, blackberries, plums and pears should be consumed daily as it contains fibre as fibre keeps the digestive system healthy and functioning properly (The Function of Fibre, 2001). In medicine wise, doctors usually prescribe anti-spasmodic drugs.

This drug helps to clam the spasms in the gut. Anti-depressants are also sometimes prescribed by the doctors. There are two new major drugs that are recently made specifically for IBS sufferer which are Lotronex and Zelnorm. Lotronex are for diarrhea-predominant IBS and Zelnorm are for constipation-predominant IBS (Medicines and Drugs, n. d. ). Hypnotherapy is often used as one of the treatments for IBS. It is said to be a fairly well-established treatment for IBS as it helps the nervous system to be in a state of relaxation (Hypnotherapy, n. d. . Psychological therapies and stress management treatments are affective in a person who suffers from psychological condition such as stress and depression that causes over-activity if the internal organ such as gut as mentioned earlier above. Talking to counselor about the ways to manage stress and depression will help to change the lifestyle of a person and therefore, reduce the symptoms of IBS (Arnold Wald, MD, 2010). It is important to take baby steps in preserving a healthy lifestyle by controlling what goes in and comes out of our body.

As the saying goes, “make your own recovery the first priority in your life’’ as quoted by Robin Norwood. Reference 1. Martin Hughes, n. d. List of Diet Related Diseases [Online]. Demand Media, Inc. Available from: http://www. livestrong. com/article/272573-list-of-diet-related-diseases/ [Accessed 31 August 2011]. 2. Statistics of IBS, 2009 [Online]. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Inc. Available from: http://www. aboutibs. org/site/about-ibs/symptoms/statistics [Accessed 31 August 2011]. 3. Risk Factors of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 2005 [Online].

Available from: http://www. patientsmedical. com/healthaz/irritablebowel/risk. aspx [Accessed 31 August 2011]. 4. IBS and Menstruation, n. d. [Online]. Available from: http://www. ibsresearchupdate. org/ibs/woman1ie4. html [Accessed 31 August 2011]. 5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome Danger – High Fat Foods Ahead, n. d. [Online]. Available from: http://www. helpforibs. com/diet/trigger2. asp [Accessed 31 August 2011]. 6. IBS Foods to Avoid, n. d. [Online]. Available from: http://www. digestivesystemdisorders. com/ibs-irritable-bowel-syndrome/ibs-food