Here is information about the onset of an attack of irritable bowel syndrome.
“The onset of IBS symptoms is usually slow and ongoing for a prolonged period of time,” says Dr. Saad Habba, MD, an attending consultant physician (gastroenterologist) at Overlook Medical Center located in Summit, NJ.
Dr. Habba further explains, “Attacks do not come on acutely and do not behave as an ‘on and off’ switch. Accordingly, they may stay for days and sometimes weeks, particularly if the underlying precipitating factor is constantly introduced, such as lactose intolerance, sugar intolerance or stress.
“The association of stress and psychosomatic influences in IBS is well-documented and may play an important role in the severity and length of symptoms.
“There is no set period as to when an episode usually occurs or disappears, as every person reacts differently to this condition.”
If you’ve never had any of these issues, but then one day have a sudden onset of peculiar diarrhea that persists, don’t assume this is probably IBS.
This happened to me, and even though a nurse thought it might possibly be a first-time attack of irritable bowel syndrome, it turned out to be a condition called microscopic colitis—which is frequently misdiagnosed as IBS.
Dr. Habba pioneered the concept of IBS being a wastebasket diagnosis and collection of different entities rather than a true single medical condition. He’s been presented and published in 26 national and international medical journals and symposia.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.