Five red flag symptoms of hidden condition that affects 20% of Britons

Dr Dawn Harper explains symptoms and treatment of IBS

Citing research from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Michael said 20 percent of the British population suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

“That’s up to one in five people that you know,” said Michael. While many associate IBS with stomach cramps and an urgent need to go to the toilet, there is much more to know about the condition.

“Fatigue is very common,” said Michael. “Between 50 percent to 60 percent [of people] with IBS will experience this.”

As IBS leads to inflammation within the body, IBS sufferers (whether they know they have the condition or not) could experience migraines.

Affecting around 30 percent of IBS sufferers, migraines may be triggered by alterations in neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin, caused by inflammation Michael said.

READ MORE… Dad told he had IBS for years given heartbreaking diagnosis on birthday

For those who do experience more well-known symptoms of IBS, such as bloating and diarrhoea, they might develop depression and anxiety.

Michael said: “Depression and Anxiety each affect around 40 percent of IBS sufferers.

“The long-term and unpredictable nature of living with IBS symptoms can cause significant stress, feelings of isolation, frustration and a significantly reduced quality of life.”

Michael elaborated: “Never knowing what you can get away with eating, fearing you will ever find a ‘cure’, self-imposed social isolation to the need to plan routes with public toilets in mind are all significant truths.

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“While the elevated levels of inflammation and pain will affect both your brain chemistry and your ability to function normally.”

Bladder issues could also be a sign of IBS, such as peeing more often and not feeling quite empty.

Michael explained: “Consider the limited space for all your organs in the pelvis and abdomen.

“When constipation leads to a build-up of poo and excess gases cause the bowels to balloon (leading to a bloated belly and cramping), there isn’t enough space.”

Pressure on the bladder can trick the body into thinking it’s full, when it’s not, hence the more frequent trips to the toilet.

Signs of IBS

  1. Fatigue
  2. Migraines
  3. Depression
  4. Anxiety
  5. Urinating more.

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