Irritable bowel syndrome, often abbreviated as IBS, refers to a number of gastrointestinal manifestations that can occur on a long-term basis (chronic condition). One may experience diarrhea or constipation, as well as abdominal pain, bloating and cramps. Medication can help improve the discomfort but it is important to be aware of the fact that the Read more about Top 5 IBS Diets for Improving Your Symptoms[…]
The stool can provide valuable information on our general health. Upon analyzing its shape, texture, and frequency, one can determine if lifestyle changes are required or identify potential red flags, suggestive of underlying medical problems.
Using a bowel movement tracker, you can keep track of the number of stools, enter information about their quality and appearance, as well as keep a diary of associated manifestations.
This information can be quite useful for your doctor, helping him/her decide on medication adjustments, nutritional guidance and so on.
CareClinic Stool tracker, a valuable tool to record Bowel Movements
CareClinic is an application that can be used, among other things, to analyze your bowel movements and obtain useful information on your general health.
It is particularly recommended to those who suffer from chronic pain, following a drug treatment that can affect their gastrointestinal system (opioid drugs and other pain medication increase the risk of constipation, among other bowel movement problems).
A symptom tracker is a valuable tool, as it allows one to identify serious medical issues. Upon using CareClinic to track your symptoms, all you have to do is to access “Create a new post”; you can then click on “Symptoms” and record the symptoms you are experiencing.
By keeping track of the bowel movements, one can see a change in the quality, shape and texture; this can guide the diagnosis in the right direction and allow one to find better treatment alternatives for the management of chronic pain.
The bowel movements can be recorded and analyzed using the Bristol Stool Scale. This includes seven stool categories, in accordance to the texture and shape. You can rely on the best bowel movement tracker to identify the type of stool (and find out whether this is healthy or not), as well as to analyze the frequency and red flags (such as the presence of blood in the stool).
CareClinic as the Best Stool Tracking Tool for Android, iOS & Web
The application can be used for diary entries related to your bowel movements and additional symptoms. You can select the corresponding Bristol Stool Scale value and check other manifestations, especially hematochezia.
Keep in mind that the blood in poop can be a sign of intestinal bleeding. If it is darker in color, it comes from the upper intestinal tract but, if it has a bright red color, it can be a manifestation of rectal or anal bleeding. Keep in mind, you can also record urination as part of tracking your stool movements.
Using CareClinic’s app as a bowel movement tracker app allows you to enter the approximate quantity as well. You will not rely on a particular measuring unit but rather enter it on a scale, ranging from less to average and more. This helps you form a better idea of your average bowel movements, as well as their frequency and quality.
Bristol Stool Scale – know your stool and what it means
The Bristol Stool Scale is a particularly useful feature, as it tells you from the start if your stool is healthy or not. It is a known fact that the stool can provide a lot of information about the state of health.
For example, a healthy person will have a sausage-shaped stool, with a smooth surface. He/she will go to the toilet without excess strain and with a regular frequency.
Pebble-like stools are characteristic for those suffering from constipation, while watery stools commonly occur in case of diarrhea. As you will see for yourself, this scale can help you identify additional features that might point towards gastrointestinal conditions. Lumpy stools, with cracks on the surface, can be a sign of food intolerance or even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Comprehensive health report based on diary entries
At the end of each month, you will receive a comprehensive health report, which is based on you
r diary entries. You can print the bowel movement tracker sheet and take it to the doctor, as the specialist will definitely find it useful to know more information on your bowel movements.
The report can offer details about your poop type, quantity and frequency, as well as about additional symptoms (presence of blood in the stool). The treating physician can review the CareClinic report and determine whether it is time to change or adjust your medication. Based on the provided information, he/she might also recommend dietary changes meant to improve intestinal health.
As the CareClinic app can also offer details on the frequency of stools, the physician will be able to identify whether constipation is a common occurrence or not. The report will include the average number of bowel movements per week, but it can also be extended over a longer period of time.
Why should you pay attention to your bowel movements?
Regular, healthy bowel movements are indicators that one is healthy, generally-speaking. These should not be accompanied by additional complaints, such as bloating, pain or blood in the stool. Moreover, excess straining can be a sign of constipation. A healthy stool has a soft texture and it is easy to pass.
You can rely on the CareClinic app as a bowel movement tracker; it can be used to track symptoms, such as abdominal pain, constipation/diarrhea, bloating, urination, and flatulence.
It can help the attending physician to a form a correct diagnosis and recommend laxatives in case of severe constipation. Moreover, it might guide the physical towards additional medical tests that should be performed to rule out various medical problems.
It is highly important to pay attention to one’s bowel movements, as the type, quality, and frequency of the stools can offer an early indication of chronic conditions. Even though some of these conditions can be managed with treatment and lifestyle changes, others can be life-threatening and require more aggressive treatment solutions (for example, surgery in case colorectal cancer).
What are the factors that can affect the quality/frequency of the stools?
There are different factors that can play a role whereas the quality and frequency of the stools is concerned. For example, food poisoning can lead to diarrhea and intestinal pain. On the other hand, constipation is favored by eating too much fiber or even new foods. Colon irregularities can occur as a result of eating foods our intestines are not familiar with.
Traveling influences our bowel movements, as we are eating other foods than our normal diet and, without being aware, we drink less water. There is also the stress of not using our own toilets or not having enough time to go through the motions. These are some of the reasons for which so many people suffer from constipation upon traveling.
One of the major reasons for which our bowel movements can be affected is medication. Often times, drugs have constipation has a side-effect but this is not always the case. Antibiotics are known, for example, to lead to diarrhea. If you have noticed such reactions from the medication you are taking, talk to your doctor and inquire about potential changes in your treatment plan.
Underlying medical conditions can lead to abnormal movements. It is important to acknowledge worrying symptoms, such as severe/frequent constipation, the alternation between constipation and diarrhea, the presence of blood in the stool, severe intestinal pain and vomiting.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and request a diagnosis, followed by a comprehensive treatment plan.
What measures can be taken to improve colon health? Hint: Keep a Toilet Log.
The first thing you need to change is your diet. The modern diet can wreak havoc on the intestines, as it contains a lot of processed foods, with refined ingredients, preservatives and potentially-harmful chemicals. You need to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and yogurt (rich in probiotics, which are beneficial for the health of the gut).
It is also recommended to cut back on the red meat consumption, as this can favor constipation and even increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Doctors advise on reducing the intake of alcohol and sugary drinks, as these can affect the health of intestines.
Instead, one should drink more water, so as to avoid dehydration (this is a favoring factor of constipation).
The sedentary lifestyle, unfortunately, also has a negative influence on the bowel movements and the health of the intestines. People who spend more time sitting, for example those who have office jobs, present a higher risk of constipation and hemorrhoids. Physical activity can keep your bowels functioning normally, not to mention reduce the risk of cancer.
People who are overweight or obese can suffer from abnormal bowel movements. Researchers have even found a connection between obesity and the irritable bowel syndrome. This occurs in people who follow a low-fiber diet, high in carbs and saturated fats. Diet changes and physical exercise can help one lose weight and return to healthy bowel movements.
Use the CareClinic app as a stool tracker and stay healthy
From what has been said, you have probably understood that the stool serves as a health indicator. You can trust the CareClinic app as a highly-effective bowel movement tracker app, using it to record stool quality and frequency, as well as register any additional details about your intestinal health.
Based on the health report derived from your diary entries, you will be able to see if your intestines are functioning as they should or if there are worrying symptoms to further investigate. Your doctor can rely on the report to suggest nutritional changes, test you for food intolerances or other underlying conditions.
Keep Everything Under Control with CareClinic – A reliable for managing IBS
In the world, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders with a prevalence rate of 10-15%. It mainly affects the large intestine which can cause the following symptoms such as abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating, cramping, diarrhea and/or constipation. But among those having this disorder, only a few patients experience severe symptoms.
IBS is also referred to as irritable colon, mucous colitis and spastic colitis. It is basically a group of intestinal symptoms that happen together and varies from one patient to another. These symptoms last at least three months, for at least three days every month.
There are several conditions that present similar symptoms with IBS and these should be ruled out to be able to come up with a diagnosis. Once an individual has IBS, close monitoring of symptoms and triggers is very important.
There are a lot of treatment options available which include diet and lifestyle change, stress management, counseling and medication. That’s why there are health apps created to help you develop a routine and even make necessary lifestyle changes. Paying close attention to when symptoms improve or worsen can also be facilitated with such health apps.
CareClinic has a feature that of as an IBS app which helps individual track symptoms, as well as set health and exercise goals on a daily basis. This comes with a comprehensive digital health diary which may also record measurements and track mood swings.
Aside from that, the IBS symptom tracker reminds you to take medications at the right time, as well as use it for appointments and counseling sessions. All the data recorded in the app is then compiled into a monthly report which may serve as a health record used by your doctor. But before jumping into the details of this iOS / Android app, getting a deeper knowledge of IBS is essential.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not at all life-threatening, but a condition which is long-lasting that may ultimately change your life. According to statistics, women get IBS more than men and experience the symptoms first during the ages 20-30. Women usually experience it around menstruation, and those in the menopausal stage have fewer symptoms.
With regards to symptoms, the severity varies from different patients. IBS mainly has four types:
- IBS with diarrhea
- IBS with constipation
- IBS with constipation and diarrhea
- IBS (others not falling in the three categories)
The most common type is IBS with constipation which affects 50% of IBS patients. Second in rank would be IBS with diarrhea affecting one-third of IBS patients, and 20% have IBS with alternating periods of constipation and diarrhea.
Symptoms of IBS may be the same with other gastrointestinal disorders, but the most common that makes it definitive of IBS are:
- Abdominal pain (cramping and burning)
- Bloating and flatulence
- Diarrhea (soft and fluid-like, several times per day)
- Changes in bowel movements
- Food intolerance
- Permanent Fullness
- Visible inflation
- Fatigue and difficulty in sleeping
These are common of IBS but if there are severe symptoms such as fever, sudden loss of weight or blood in the stool, it’s time to consult a physician immediately. These are usually not conclusive of IBS but may link to other serious conditions.
The unknown cause
There are no conclusive studies showing the main cause of IBS. Even if this condition’s triggers and symptoms are known, only assumptions are made as to how IBS came to be. Colon hypersensitivity is one top assumption as this pertains to how the colon reacts to mere mild stimulation. When the bowel muscles do abnormal squeezing, this may end up becoming IBS. When the body functions, chemicals such as serotonin and gastrin are secreted which are also linked with this particular disorder. Individuals having a disturbed immune function or infections are also susceptible to IBS.
Risk factors such as age, sex, family history and even mental health status are also associated with IBS. That’s why it is hard to pinpoint the etymology of IBS due to profound factors occurring.
Triggers of IBS
A lot of people wonder what triggers IBS and are actually experienced in our day-to-day activities. Food is the most obvious since anything we eat gets through our gastrointestinal tract. People notice a change in their IBS symptoms when they consume dairy, wheat and carbonated beverages. Hormones are also considered as triggers for women especially during their menstrual cycle. Aside from that, in periods of high stress, IBS symptoms are most pronounced for both men and women.
What to do once diagnosed
A patient will never really know up until he or she sees a gastroenterologist. Seeking medical advice is important to avoid self-medication, which usually worsens the condition. Other gastrointestinal disorders have to be ruled out by the specialist and IBS is determined by differential diagnosis. So disclosing your family history of illness as well as undergoing physical and diagnostic examinations is important.
Oftentimes, the doctor can already diagnose based on the symptoms. But if these are not enough, specialists usually let you undergo a stool exam to rule out infection. Aside from that, requesting for a blood test is done to check for the possibility of anemia, as well as to rule out celiac disease. Lastly, a colonoscopy is deemed important if your doctor suspects the symptoms you have are caused by inflammatory bowel disease, colitis or cancer.
If you are indeed diagnosed with IBS, the primary treatment is usually focused on alleviating and preventing the symptoms from getting worse. Pain and cramping are one of the top symptoms of IBS and can naturally be treated with plant-based concoctions. Hot compression has also been known to give temporary relief. Synthetic medications such as butylscopolamine, nifedipine, or mebeverine are taken with medical supervision.
To get rid of obstructions, consuming considerable amounts of liquids is part of any IBS treatment. Laxatives may also be taken in the form of suppositories.
For those having IBS with diarrhea, tannins, bicarbonate or anti-diarrheal medications (loperamide, cromoglicic acid) are commonly used. Of course, these medications should only be taken if prescribed by the physician.
A note in taking loperamide though – it should not be for long-term use. Furthermore, since IBS with diarrhea entails losing a lot of fluids in the body, proper rehydration must be done to replace lost fluids.
Having a gassy stomach or flatulence can be very uncomfortable. To get rid of this, fennel, peppermint oil or caraway may be used. If medications are needed, drugs such as dimethicone or simethicone help relieve these symptoms.
For those who have IBS and experience great amounts of stress, different relaxation techniques must be done. It could be yoga, meditation or autogenic training. Diet change also helps in improving the dreaded symptoms.
Modifying or eliminating certain foods such as dairy, beans and indigestible sugars may help in reducing the symptoms. There are some patients who have reported that adding some herbs and spices also alleviates the condition. Then again, have your doctor check this first to avoid complications.
IBS resulting from psychological disorders may also be alleviated by taking antidepressants or psychotherapy, as prescribed by the physician.
Knowing the treatment plans of IBS is crucial in significantly alleviating the symptoms. The regular and proper taking of medications prescribed, as well as following dietary and therapeutic plans can be made possible by using the IBS diary app.
The essence of the IBS Symptom Tracking App
Nowadays, everything is almost digitally advanced even on healthcare. CareClinic has been developing apps such as the symptom tracker to help patients get through their lives. Managing and taking medications on time may sound easy, but pretty hard to do in a busy schedule. There will always be a tendency to miss out on one dose or two if you are not careful. That is why having a medication reminder is very helpful.
CareClinic, as a health tracker app may serve as a valuable tool in improving the quality of your life. The IBS symptom tracker helps in monitoring triggers, moods and symptoms on a daily basis. This app may also be used to set your daily health goals in life.
This app is very useful for IBS patients who need to be reminded regularly when to take their medication or remind of upcoming health appointments/therapy sessions. Taking control over IBS takes a lot of hard work so adhering strictly to a therapeutic plan is a must.
Since this app saves valuable data, compiling a monthly health report can be shared with your physician so that he or she will be able to have a good grasp on your condition. You may be able to get rid of those dreaded symptoms as this IBS app is bound to make a difference in your life completely.
CareClinic is available on Android, iOS, and the web, and you can start using it now by clicking here.