Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States. The symptoms vary but usually include some combination of cramping, stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
There is a long list of foods and beverages that can potentially worsen IBS symptoms—including alcohol. While some people suffering from IBS have to eliminate alcohol from their diet completely, others can still enjoy an occasional drink.
If you suffer from IBS, you need to understand how your body reacts to alcohol so you can manage how much alcohol you drink.
What causes IBS?
While researchers are not exactly sure what causes IBS, a number of triggers have been identified that can lead to symptoms. Triggers and symptoms vary from person to person, but the most common include:
- Foods. It’s not yet clear how food affects IBS symptoms, but many people report worsening symptoms when they consume chocolate, fats, fruits, beans, cabbage, dairy products, carbonated beverages, coffee, and alcohol.
- Stress. Although stress does not cause IBS, it has been shown to aggravate symptoms.
- Hormones. Women are more likely to have IBS than men, so researchers believe that hormonal changes may worsen symptoms.
Unlike inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, IBS doesn’t cause damage to your colon and doesn’t increase your risk of developing colon cancer.
How does alcohol affect IBS?
Alcohol has been shown to irritate the gut, which can lead to a flare-up of IBS symptoms. If alcohol is one of your triggers, you may notice increased cramping or bloating after consuming even a small amount. You also may notice diarrhea or constipation if you’re especially sensitive to alcohol.
Depending on your level of sensitivity, even one alcoholic beverage can be enough to trigger a flare-up. Some alcoholic beverages may be more likely to cause flare-ups than others. For instance, many IBS patients report that beer significantly worsens their symptoms.
Some individuals report a noticeable improvement in IBS symptoms after giving up alcohol completely. Others experience relief after cutting back on the amount of alcohol they consume or by avoiding certain types of alcohol, such as beer.
How can I tell if alcohol is one of my IBS triggers?
It’s important to keep track of what you eat and drink, and the amounts, so you can clearly understand what foods or beverages worsen your symptoms.
If you’re not sure if alcohol bothers you, eliminate it completely and see if your symptoms subside. Once your symptoms are stable, try one drink to see if it triggers your IBS symptoms. You can try this same technique with different types of alcohol to see if some are more tolerable than others. Of course, it’s recommended that you drink alcohol in moderation—no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Although IBS can cause some discomfort, most people are able to manage their symptoms by controlling diet and managing stress. However, you should talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing severe symptoms that affect your quality of life.
Coronavirus Ireland: 63 further deaths and 3,569 more Covid-19 cases confirmed
A further 3,569 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland by the Department of Health today.
There was also a further 63 Covid-19 fatalities recorded.
Five of these deaths occurred in November 2020, one of these deaths occurred in December 2020, and the remaining 56 occurred in January 2021.
The date of death for one reported death remains under investigation.
This brings the total number of cases in the state to 159,144 and the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 2,460.
Of the cases notified today:
- 1,616 are men / 1,924 are women
- 54pc are under 45 years of age
- The median age is 42 years old
- 1,119 are in Dublin, 416 in Cork, 200 in Galway, 182 in Louth, 169 in Waterford, and the remaining 1,483 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 2pm today there are 1,770 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 172 of these in ICU. Both figures are the highest tallies ever recorded in the pandemic.
Speaking on today’s figures, CMO Dr Tony Holohan said: “We are seeing some early signs of progress with daily cases numbers and positivity rates.
“We can take some hope in them, but we have a long, long way to go. In the coming weeks ahead, we will need to draw upon our reserves of resilience from springtime as we can expect to see hospitalisations, admissions to ICU and mortality related to Covid-19 increase day on day.”
“The best way that we can all support one another now is to stay apart. Sadly, what we are seeing now is a result of the very high daily confirmed case numbers we experienced for successive weeks.
“To ensure our hospitals and loved ones remain protected, and stay alive to receive the vaccine, please continue to follow public health advice and stay home.”
This comes as healthcare workers on leave due to being a close contact of a Covid-19 case are being asked to return to work if they are asymptomatic due to the strain on the health service.
- GPs will be first to use online system to register for a vaccine
- Simon Harris criticises communication of vaccine plan, saying public feel like they’ve been left in the dark
- Sinead Ryan: Infection rate now our badge of dishonour
There are currently over 7,000 HSE staff out of work, Chief Operations Officer Ann O’Connor confirmed this morning.
The INMO has today called for the government to declare a National Emergency due to the hospital crisis, as they say the health service is not coping with the surge in the disease.
Speaking on Morning Ireland, the COO said there are 14 Irish hospitals with more than 50 Covid-19 cases and six with more than 100. She said Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Limerick and Galway University Hospital are the worst hit.
Ms O’Connor said in “ordinary circumstances” the close contacts of cases would be out for 14 days, but said “that is not available to us in that instance”
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Coronavirus: What Happens When You Get Infected?
How Does Coronavirus Attack Your Body?
A virus infects your body by entering healthy cells. There, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.
The new coronavirus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.
Specifically, the viral proteins bust into cells through ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks healthy cells and takes command. Eventually, it kills some of the healthy cells.
How Does Coronavirus Move Through Your Body?
COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, starts with droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze, or breath. They could be in the air or on a surface that you touch before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. That gives the virus a passage to the mucous membranes in your throat. Within 2 to 14 days, your immune system may respond with symptoms including:CONTINUE READING BELOW
- A cough
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
- Chills, sometimes with shaking
- Body aches
- A sore throat
- Loss of taste
- Loss of smell
The virus moves down your respiratory tract. That’s the airway that includes your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. Your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors than the rest of your respiratory tract. So COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper than viruses like the common cold.
Your lungs might become inflamed, making it tough for you to breathe. This can lead to pneumonia, an infection of the tiny air sacs (called alveoli) inside your lungs where your blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide.
If your doctor does a CT scan of your chest, they’ll probably see shadows or patchy areas called “ground-glass opacity.”
For most people, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever. More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe. About 5 to 8 days after symptoms begin, they have shortness of breath (known as dyspnea). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) begins a few days later.
ARDS can cause rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, dizziness, and sweating. It damages the tissues and blood vessels in your alveoli, causing debris to collect inside them. This makes it harder or even impossible for you to breathe.
Many people who get ARDS need help breathing from a machine called a ventilator.
As fluid collects in your lungs, they carry less oxygen to your blood. That means your blood may not supply your organs with enough oxygen to survive. This can cause your kidneys, lungs, and liver to shut down and stop working.
Not everyone who has COVID-19 has these serious complications. And not everyone needs medical care. But if your symptoms include trouble breathing, get help right away.NEWSLETTERStay Up-to-Date on COVID-19
What Else Does COVID-19 Do to Your Body?
Some people also have symptoms including:
- Liver problems or damage
- Heart problems
- Kidney damage
- Dangerous blood clots, including in their legs, lungs, and arteries. Some clots may cause a stroke.
Researchers are also looking into a few reports of skin rashes, including some reddish-purple spots on fingers or toes.
A few children and teens have been admitted to the hospital with an inflammatory syndrome that may be linked to the new coronavirus. Symptoms include a fever, rash, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart problems. The syndrome, now being referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C is similar to toxic shock or to Kawasaki disease, a condition in children that causes inflammation in blood vessels. We’re still learning about these cases.
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