Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) refers to a disorder that involves abdominal pain and cramping, as well as changes in bowel movements.
It is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis .
Spastic colon; Irritable colon; Mucous colitis; Spastic colitis
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
There are many possible causes of IBS. For example, there may be a problem with muscles in the intestine, or the intestine may be more sensitive to stretching or movement. There is no problem with the structure of the intestine.
It is not clear why patients develop IBS, but in some instances, it occurs after an intestinal infection. This is called postinfectious IBS. There may also be other triggers.
Stress can worsen IBS. The colon is connected to the brain through nerves of the autonomic nervous system. These nerves become more active during times of stress, and can cause th...
<p><strong>What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?</strong></p>
<p>Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the United States. It is characterized by intermittent periods of constipation or diarrhea and often pain or bloating. After partly digested food leaves the stomach, it is moved through the small and then the large intestine by regular contractions (peristaltic motility) of the muscles in the intestinal wall. In IBS, these muscles may go into spasm and move residues either too quickly (causing diarrhea) or too slowly (causing constipation). IBS should not be confused with the more serious inflammatory bowel diseases.</p>
<p>There is no cure for IBS; treatment focuses on relief of symptoms, which can often be accomplished with a combination of diet and stress management. Medications are also sometimes helpful. IBS is more common in women than men, and symptoms may worsen in relation to menses.</p>
Do you sometimes experience stomach pain, bloating and irregular bowel movements, either constipation and/or diarrhea? If so, you understand how uncomfortable certain foods and activities can make you feel. Now, imagine feeling this way all day, every day. For the millions of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), dealing with these symptoms is a way of life.
IBS is one of the most common diseases gastroenterologists see every day. For many IBS patients, the disease is a mild annoyance, but for some people it can be disabling. In addition to the high number of patients affected by IBS, the lack of effective treatments creates difficulty in caring for these patients.
With traditional medications not cutting it for the growing number of IBS suffers, the medical community is considering other options, such as diet, to treat and control symptoms. Gaining increasing attention is the low-FODMAPs diet, which restricts consumption of certain carbohydrates and sugars (ferm...
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