Identifying IBS Symptoms in Men
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a widespread problem, especially among people who don’t pay attention to the food they are eating. I was fond of oily food because that was the only variety available outside my office. Soon, I was suffering from diarrhea, and I didn’t know what caused it. A few days later, I had constipation. With such bizarre symptoms, I had no clue what hit me. There was a constant pain in my stomach, and when I went to the doctor, he told me I have IBS.
What leads to IBS
IBS symptoms in men are a combination of many things. Poor food habits, not getting enough sleep, too much stress at work – all these can trigger IBS symptoms, and it is essential that you get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible.
IBS symptoms in men
According to WebMD (https://www.webmd.com/ibs/symptoms-irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs), men experience slightly different symptoms than women. Women tend to suffer from IBS, mainly due to hormonal changes during their menstrual periods.
Men, on the other hand, experience the most common symptoms associated with IBS. As per the experts from Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-signs-and-symptoms-of-ibs), here are some of the signs that you need to keep in mind:
1. Cramp and pain
The initial signs of IBS in men are abdominal cramps. Your brain and gut work together to control digestion. If their cooperation is hampered, it will cause painful muscle tension leading to abdominal cramps. The cramp starts in the lower abdomen and slowly rises to the upper abdomen. You will want to go to the loo immediately when the pain starts.
The researchers from Very Well Health (https://www.verywellhealth.com/ibs-symptoms-in-men-1945290) believe that diet modification can lower the pain significantly. You can start with a low-FODMAP diet to keep IBS away.
This was my first symptom, and I later found that it was one of the common signs of IBS. I had to run to the toilet very frequently. After a few visits, I noticed that the stool was loose, and it had white mucus. This was new to me because when I previously had diarrhea, there was no sign of mucus at all. So, I consulted the doctor to know why it is happening. That was when I knew about IBS.
Although diarrhea is one of the common IBS symptoms in men, most people think that it is just another episode of loose-motion. That’s not always the case. If you notice mucus, don’t hesitate to consult the doctor.
As per the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (https://www.aboutibs.org/ibs-in-men.html), constipation, although counterintuitive, is a symptom of IBS in men. Most people think that it is impossible to have constipation and diarrhea at the same time, but when you are suffering from IBS, you have all sorts of stomach problems.
In fact, I can vouch for this statement because I experienced it during my episodes of IBS. It was as if I need to go to the loo all the time, but sometimes things did not happen. And, when it did, the stool was like diarrhea with mucus.
4. Frequent changes in bowel movement
One of the significant IBS symptoms in men is a frequent change in bowel movement. The slow-moving stool in your intestine dehydrates because the intestine absorbs all the water. This creates harder stool that causes symptoms of constipation.
On the other hand, quick disposal of stool from the intestine doesn’t allow it to absorb water, which results in diarrhea. That is why you will often notice that you have to go to the toilet because of the constant abdominal pain. But, it necessarily won’t result in stool disposal.
Apart from mucus, Medical News Today (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324259.php) also sites another telling sign of IBS, and that is blood in the stool. This is a case of severe IBS. Neglecting it may cause more pain, and it will aggravate the condition even more. Don’t confuse it with piles because the blood in your stool will be very dark, sometimes even black, with a thick consistency.
5. Fatigue and joint pain
Do you often feel tired every time you come back from the toilet? Does your entire body ache when you are resting? According to C-Health (https://chealth.canoe.com/channel/mens-health/mens-health-problems/do-you-have-ibs-know-the-symptoms), fatigue and joint pains are repercussions of frequent visits to the toilet.
The body goes through a lot when you have alternating diarrhea and constipation. Additionally, men lead a stressful life at the office. Sometimes, both your physical and mental health gives up, especially with the constant pain in the lower abdomen. You will feel as if the shoulders, knees, and hips are experiencing searing pain.
While my treatment was on, I went through several IBS videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCo3VAnODEk) to identify the symptoms. Most of the symptoms matched with what FamilyDoctor.Org (https://familydoctor.org/condition/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/) specifies. But, after consulting with the doctor and following a strict low-FODMAP diet, I was able to get rid of this terrible disease.