What Is IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

According to Mayo Clinic and others, IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome is defined as: An intestinal disorder causing pain in the belly, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. In short Abnormal colon contractions and abdominal pain.

Common
More than 200,000 US cases per year
Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured
Requires a medical diagnosis
Lab tests or imaging rarely required
Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome isn’t well understood. A diagnosis is often made based on symptoms.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Others will need medication and counseling. End of report.
This is another condition that was caused do to my military service and part of my V.A, Appeal, but the V.A. Claims Dept. is making me go through hoops in order to be compensated for this and many other conditions. This is a condition that I’ve had for many years now and it has proven to be at times uncontrollable. Most people who experience IBS can be either diarrhea or constipation dominant from time to time. Some people can experience both symptoms. I have had bouts with both diarrhea and constipation several years ago on a consistent basis. During that period of time whenever I went to a public setting I had extreme diarrhea. I eventually had to take a medication to stop me from using it before I left home. I then had to take a medication to start back using the bathroom while at home.
I remember one of my worse experiences with constipation was some where around mid 2000. I went at least 12 days without being able to number 2. I was taking everything from stool softeners to various constipation medications, drinking water and everything else that I thought would help. I walked into a CVS Pharmacy bent over with extreme stomach pain. I had seen a commercial on television about MiraLax in which I hadn’t tried. I purchased the MiraLax, went back home and followed the instructions on consumption. Man, a few hours later I started sh _ _ _ _ ng all the place. Now imagine this, feeling relief from my stomach finally emptying but at the same time experiencing a totally different pain in my intestines. My stomach muscles were hurting because the mess had my large intestine stretched beyond it’s normal capacity. In spite of the  pain I had finally found relief. I have experienced all of the symptoms associated with IBS except, of course, weight loss.
I have also had a total of three pectic ulcers as result of my IBS. If you read the portion of my V.A. Appeal that’ll be added below you’ll see that there are several causes for this condition. Certain medications, stress and anxiety can be contributors to this condition. While on active duty I experienced depression and anxiety (service connected). But one of the major contributors was the long term affects of the 800mg Motrin I took  consistently for at least 6-8 years due to injuries. For at least five of these years I played higher level softball in Germany where almost all of my team members popped 800mg Motrin for pain like they were M&M’s. I said that to say this; “I know in my heart and sole that their are thousands more veterans who may have been affected negatively by taking this medication for so long and on a consistent basis. And I know they’re having the same problems getting compensated just as I am. What a shame.
Below you’ll see #5 of my V.A. Appeal for IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome and GERD- Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Copy of original:

5. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).- Evaluation of Disability

According to Mayo Clinic (article listed below), 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016  
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you’ll need to manage long term.

Risk factors

Many people have occasional signs and symptoms of IBS. But you’re more likely to have the syndrome if you:

 

  • Are young. IBS occurs more frequently in people under age 50.
    • Have a mental health problem. Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues are associated with IBS. A history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse also might be a risk factor.

Complications
Chronic constipation or diarrhea can cause hemorrhoids.

In addition, IBS is associated with:

  • Poor quality of life.Many people with moderate to severe IBS report poor quality of life. Research indicates that people with IBS miss three times as many days from work as do those without bowel symptoms.
  • Mood disorders.Experiencing the signs and symptoms of IBS can lead to depression or anxiety. Depression and anxiety also can make IBS worse

Symptoms

  • Burning stomach pain
  • Feeling of fullness, bloating or belching
  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • The most common peptic ulcer symptom is burning stomach pain. Stomach acid makes the pain worse, as does having an empty stomach. The pain can often be relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication, but then it may come back. The pain may be worse between meals and at night.

Nearly three-quarters of people with peptic ulcers don’t have symptoms.

Less often, ulcers may cause severe signs or symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting or vomiting blood — which may appear red or black
  • Dark blood in stools, or stools that are black or tarry
  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling faint
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Appetite changes

Causes

Peptic ulcers occur when acid in the digestive tract eats away at the inner surface of the stomach or small intestine. The acid can create a painful open sore that may bleed.

Your digestive tract is coated with a mucous layer that normally protects against acid. But if the amount of acid is increased or the amount of mucus is decreased, you could develop an ulcer. Common causes include:

  • Regular use of certain pain relievers. Taking aspirin, as well as certain over-the-counter and prescription pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate or inflame the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others), ketoprofen and others. They do not include acetaminophen (Tylenol).Peptic ulcers are more common in older adults who take these pain medications frequently or in people who take these medications for osteoarthritis.
  • Other medications. Taking certain other medications along with NSAIDs, such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), can greatly increase the chance of developing ulcers
These are the abdominal symptoms I experience personally:
gas/bloating & extreme stomach pain
nausea dizziness
constipation & diarrhea
hemorrhoids & rectal bleeding

extreme fatigue

The above articles show a strong connection between the cause and symptoms of IBS & Peptic Ulcers.
To you the reader; heed the warnings of these conditions and their causes.
To my fellow veterans; file your claim and appeals if you know within your hearts that your condition or conditions were service connected. Also encourage every veteran that you come in contact with to do the same thing.
WERBETTER2GETHER