IBS impacts all aspects of your life including your work. It can be especially difficult if you are dealing with an occupation that may not have bathrooms readily available, one that requires significant travel or one that is physically active.
Unfortunately many employers and doctors are in the dark as to how IBS can affect your ability to perform your job. Most employers do not typically care about your personal or health problems unless they have to by law or you have created a personal relationship with your employer. This is why it’s important with how you approach managing your IBS with your job.
People dealing with IBS often have to deal with psychological symptoms as well as physiological symptoms.The brain & the gut are connected together via numerous neurological pathways. The gut & brain also extensively use serotonin to communicate. Serotonin is a chemical that is often related to mood & anxiety disorders. This neurological & chemical connection is known as the “brain-gut connection”. Some researchers have even referred to the digestive system as “the second brain”. Continue reading “Psychological IBS Symptoms” »
IBS symptoms vary by their type, intensity & duration. Some people experience short term IBS flares while others experience more chronic IBS symptoms. Those who experience chronic IBS symptoms may also be susceptible to IBS flare-ups as well. Continue reading “Physical IBS Symptoms” »
Stool tests are meant to check for various problems that may show up in a person’s stool(fecal matter). Things stool tests can check for are blood in stool or bacterial & parasitic infections. How the tests are done can vary.
A common test to check for blood in the stool has the patient take home a stool test kit. They line the inside toilet bowl the included waxy tissue paper to prevent the stool from being contaminated from the toilet water. Once the patient has defecated they will use the included plastic or wooden sample sticks to father samples of fecal matter which is then spread on to test area of the included cardboard sample collector. Blood in the stool may be an erratic & because of this these tests often require you to collect samples for 3 consecutive days.
Stool tests that check for bacterial or parasitic infection usually include multiple plastic vials filled with certain preservative chemicals to keep any bacteria or parasites alive while the tests are in transit to the lab. Some test, such as C. Difficile, do not use preservatives and must be refrigerated if not immediately taken to a lab. There should be labels on the sample containers, be sure to write your name and fill out an other information you need to on these labels before collecting the sample, it’s just easier this way.
The sample collection process is similar. The test kit includes a plastic bowl with support wings on it that go under your standard toilet seat. In this test you are not defecating into the toilet bowl directly, but instead into the sample bowl. Each preservative vial will have a sample spoon attached to the bottom of the screw-on lid. Collect a sample of the stool from the bowl and place it into the sample vial. It is recommended to sample multiple areas, specially areas that are watery or blood is visible, though try not to mingle sample sites for each test. Check the vial to make sure the contents meet or exceed the measuring line on the side of the vial. Once enough stool has been collected, screw the cap back on the vial and shake it to mix the fecal matter with the preservatives. If you are collecting a raw sample that does not go in a vial with preservatives in it then look for an included sampling device(spoon) and then tightly close the lid, wrap it in something protective and refrigerate it unless you’re taking it to the lab almost immediately for testing.
A Sonogram is a medical technique used to view inside the body without surgery or radiation. Sonograms use sound waves to penetrate into the body and then reverberate back. Depending on what is beneath the surface sound may not reverberate as strongly or at all. Advance imaging techniques take this data and turn it into an image. Continue reading “Getting a Sonogram” »
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows imaging of the lower bowels so a doctor can make a diagnosis by actually looking for physical problems or defects. The procedure involves inserting a flexible camera into the lower bowel via the anus. Usually the doctor will also take biopsy samples while inspecting the bowel. Colonoscopies are usually done either under sedation or anesthesia. Continue reading “Getting a Colonoscopy” »
Getting the nerve to contact your doctor and deal with the medical system can be tough. It is important that you remain confident in your goal towards getting an accurate diagnosis. Some people have very good doctors, while other doctors are less than satisfactory. Some doctors can become offended when you bring up something they have not heard of before or if you appear to be more knowledgeable than they are. Continue reading “Talking To Your Doctor” »
You’re probably reading this because you think you have IBS or have been recently received a positive IBS diagnosis. Perhaps you yourself are not impacted directly by IBS, but you are instead seeking information for a loved one or a friend who’s life is being affected. Seeking help is the first step to gaining an understanding and hopefully control over the symptoms that affect peoples lives when dealing with IBS.