IBS Risk Factors

What Are Factors That Put A Person At Risk For Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a type of intestinal disorder that causes unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas and diarrhea. Doctors believe that there are a variety of factors that put a person at risk for developing irritable bowel syndrome. Below is a list of some of those factors:

IBS Risk Factors

Age

Irritable bowel syndrome typically develops before the age of 45. In fact, people in their 20s are more likely to be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. However, it is important to note that anyone of any age can develop irritable bowel syndrome.

Family History

Irritable bowel syndrome has a tendency to run in families. People who have a parent, aunt, uncle or sibling with this condition are more likely to develop it themselves.

Gender

Irritable bowel syndrome is more common in women than it is in men. In fact, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Health experts are not sure about why women are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition than men. However, they do believe that hormonal changes can put a person at risk for developing irritable bowel syndrome. Many women notice that their IBS symptoms worsen before and during their period.

Mental Health Problems

There have been many studies done to confirm that physical health is correlated with mental health. People who suffer from depression, anxiety or a personality disorder are at an increased risk for developing irritable bowel syndrome. People who have suffered physical or sexual abuse as a child are also at a greater risk for developing this condition. Furthermore, women who have suffered domestic violence are more likely to develop this condition.

Stress

Irritable bowel syndrome can be triggered or worsened by stress. This is why many people notice that their symptoms are worse before final examinations, a job interview and the first few weeks on a new job. The reason that stress can trigger irritable bowel syndrome symptoms is because the colon is partially controlled by the nervous system. Interestingly, irritable bowel syndrome can cause a person to feel more depressed and nervous.

Other Health Conditions

There are many other health conditions that can increase the risk of irritable bowel syndrome. People who suffer from fibromyalgia and migraine headaches are more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome.