How long does an ibs episode last?

Do you ever feel like the bathroom has become a personal sanctuary? Well, if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) then there’s a good chance that is how you feel about your porcelain throne. But just how long can these terrible episodes last for those of us who have to live with this disease on a daily basis?

Understanding IBS

Before we dive into the duration of an IBS episode, it’s important to understand what causes them in the first place. IBS is classified as a gastrointestinal disorder and affects as many 48 million Americans, according to The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. It causes various symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea…or both! All these ‘gifts’ come without any detectable structural defect or known biological causation.

What’s worse is that even though there are treatments available, there isn’t currently a cure for IBS; which means we’ll all continue spending time in our lovely restrooms until further notice.

Now let’s move onto answering the question you’re really here for: How long does an IBS episode last?

Short Episodes

The length of an IBS attack varies greatly from case-to-case but can range anywhere between mere minutes up to three hours. If lying down makes things more comfortable during episodes consider laying flat onto your back using pillows under your knees.

Typical Length Occurrences Per Day
A few minutes Several

Intermediate Episodes

For many people suffering from this condition,IBS attacks usually tend to happen once or twice per week lasting less than one hour per session with minimal discomfort levels encroaching beyond mild-ish cramps and indigestion symptoms.

One way to lessen these intermediate sessions is by switching to low FODMAP diets; these types of food eliminations can help reduce bloating, gas and other symptoms altogether.

Long Episodes

Sigh— For some of us, an IBS attack feels like a never-ending nightmare that seems just barely tolerable. Strong bouts often last more than 3 hours and are best performed while laying side-ways on our beds or couches with the stomach pressed ever-so lightly against something soft. Hot water bottles sure come in handy at times like these.

Typical Length Occurrences Per Day
Three to five hours Upwards and beyond

Duration Is Relative

Perhaps you’ve read through this entire article wondering why there is such variation in IBS episodes‘ duration when we all have the same disease?

The thing is, several factors are responsible for how long each person’s episode lasts. Different individuals experience different levels of intestinal inflammation coating their inner lining which result in gastrointestinal difficulties lasting anywhere from minutes to days!

Thus I leave you with this helpful piece of advice that applies no matter where your duration landon the scale:

Try keeping track of “triggers” alongside symptom patterns by maintaining a detailed food diary so as to identify potential culprits later down the line during flareups…and who knows, it could one day help your doctor find alternative treatments better suited for you.

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