Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition affecting your colon (large intestine). The basic symptoms of the disorder include bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation. Although the symptoms of IBS can be hard to live with, fortunately they don’t cause any permanent colon damage or inflammation like other intestinal ailments including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Also, unlike the more serious bowel disorders, irritable bowel syndrome does not increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
Most people with IBS are able to control the symptoms with diet, exercise and stress management. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS and it’s seriously affecting your lifestyle you might be eligible for the Canadian Disability Tax Credit and other benefits.
Although the exact cause of IBS is not known there are many factors that doctors believe can trigger the condition:
- Foods: If you find that after you eat certain types of foods your condition worsens, it might be because those foods don’t suit you causing bloating and discomfort. Some foods like milk, certain fruits and vegetables, chocolate and caffeine might make your symptoms worse. Keeping a track of how your body reacts to certain foods can help you eliminate trigger causing foods from your diet.
- Stress: Most people with irritable bowel syndrome find that their symptoms worsen during or after stressful events. Doctors believe that although stress might trigger symptoms, it does not necessarily cause them. Maintaining a regular routine and lifestyle can help you control stress and find relief.
- Hormones: There are more women than men affected with IBS, and due to this many researchers believe that hormones play a part in triggering this condition. Many women notice that their symptoms get worse around the time of their monthly menstrual period.
Although symptoms vary from person to person, here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of IBS:
- Bloating and gas
- Abdominal pain and/or cramping
- Diarrhea or constipation or both
- Mucus in the stool
It’s important to see your doctor when you persistently notice a change in your regular bowel habits. You might have IBS or a more serious infection or bowel disorder that is important to get diagnosed so you can get the treatment you need to find relief.
Disability Tax Credits for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Do you or a family member suffer from IBS in Canada? You might be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit under more than one category, including, but not limited to, elimination (bowel functions), feeding, walking and dressing. HandyTax can help! Talk to one of our representatives today.