All About IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly called IBS, is a common disorder that affects the large intestine.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of IBS vary but are usually present for a long time. The most common include:

  • Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating that is related to passing a bowel movement
  • Changes in appearance of bowel movement
  • Changes in how often you are having a bowel movement

Severe signs and symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea at night
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent pain that isn’t relieved by passing gas or a bowel movement

Causes of IBS

We don’t get know what causes IBS but there are two things to trigger it: Stress and food. Turns out many people have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, including wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, milk and carbonated drinks.

Prognosis

IBS tends to last a lifetime and the symptoms often come and go. Many patients may have long asymptomatic years between periods of severe symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome does not shorten lifespan or lead to major life threatening complications in most patients.

Medical Marijuana and IBS

This disease cannot be cured but medical marijuana eases symptoms to give patients a better quality of life. MM helps ease the nausea and vomiting patients feel along with giving them back their appetite. Additionally:

  • One 2005 study published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine indicated the body’s endocannabinoid system may have beneficial properties for gut tissue.
  • Researchers in 2020 found that IBS-related symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and poor appetite all improved with cannabinoids
  • In a 2017 report titled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids,” a committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine found some gray area with regard to cannabis and IBS, specifically dronabinol, a synthetic marijuana-derived drug used to treat nausea and vomiting.

Marijuana strains that help with associated stomach problems include:

  • Pennywise: This indica-dominant strain is safe for taking through the day, like Blue Dream. You won’t feel a “high” from taking this strain. You’ll feel calm and at peace within yourself.
  • Lemon Jack: This hybrid strain is 50/50, combining the best qualities of both. Its effects are like drinking a strong coffee but without any ill effects on your stomach. Lemon Jack energizes you if your diarrhea has made you feel lethargic.
  • Jean Guy: This sativa is high in CBD so the patients won’t have as much of a psychoactive effect. You feel energized and cramp-free when you take this strain.

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