Being responsible for the care of your elderly loved one can be a very stressful job, and that stress can really take a toll on your body. You spend a lot of time taking care of the things that ail your aging parent or loved one, and sometimes that can lead you to ignore the signs that something may be off in your body as well.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a condition that causes its sufferers to have painful stomach cramps, bloating, constipation, and/or intense diarrhea. It can be caused by several different factors, such as hormones and a naturally sensitive colon, but it can also be caused by stress, and the way your body and brain react to it.
Chances are, if you are a family caregiver or otherwise responsible for elderly care, you will most likely recognize these symptoms in the person you are caring for. But what about in yourself?
Here is a checklist of some of the most predominant IBS symptoms from aboutibs.org – as well as some symptoms that are so subtle that you might have missed them. How many of these do you have?
- Pain – Pain in the abdomen area is the number one most reported symptom of IBS. The feeling differs from person to person, and can range from the feeling of a cramp to a stabbing sensation, or even, as some describe it, “a migraine in the stomach.” The pain comes and goes, and often lessens after a trip to the bathroom.
- Bowel Activity – IBS is different in everyone, and can even change within the person himself! Some people report intense constipation as a symptom, where they find it difficult or impossible to go to the bathroom, or experience a hardening of the stool that makes it very difficult to go. Others, though, experience diarrhea, something that can be very inconvenient, because they feel as if they can never be too far away from a bathroom.
- Symptom Pattern – IBS is difficult to diagnose, because the above symptoms can occur for other reasons as well. But the mark of IBS is that these same symptoms come and go over an extended period of time. If you suspect that you may have IBS, try keeping a diary of these symptoms, so that you can keep track of when they come and go.
- Lesser-known Symptoms – When one thinks of IBS, they normally think of stomach cramping and diarrhea. Did you know, though, that symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, bloating, and an uncomfortable feeling of “fullness” can be symptoms of IBS as well? Tiredness, muscle pain, and insomnia can also be symptoms, but these are often a response to the toll IBS takes on the body.
If you or your aging loved one have any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor right away. Some of these things may feel embarrassing to talk about, but there are many treatments, diets, and medicines that can help ease the suffering of someone with IBS, so there is no reason to put up with these things any longer than you have to.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Perry, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.