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Home :: Digestive Disorders

Irritable Bowel Syndrome


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Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common conditions of the digestive system and although not life threatening, it causes great distress to the affected person. Many terms have been used over the years to identify the altered conditions in the bowel. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms in which abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel pattern, such as loose or more frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, and/or constipation. IBS should not be confused with colitis or other inflammatory diseases of the intestinal tract and IBS is not limited to the colon. Some of these are mucous colitis, nervous colon, spastic colon, and irritable colon, but these are all misleading names. Fortunately, unlike more serious intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome doesn't cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In many cases, you can control irritable bowel syndrome by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common problem with the intestines.There is no cure, but most people can, with the help of their doctor, learn to control and live with their irritable bowel.Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain or cramping and changes in bowel function - including bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation - problems most people don't like to discuss.The disorder has many names, including nervous colon, spastic colon, spastic bowel, mucous colitis and spastic colitis. However, it should not be confused with diseases like ulcerative or Crohn's colitis.IBS is a collective term for a group of symptoms that represent the most common disease presented by patients consulting a specialist for gastrointestinal disorders. Although each patient has a unique experience within the range of known symptoms, a significant reduction in quality of life is evident for those who suffer from IBS. It characterizes a disorder that generally can not be diagnosed in a traditional way; that is, as an inflammatory, infectious, or structural abnormality that can be seen by commonly used examination, x-ray, or blood test.IBS is also called functional bowel syndrome, irritable colon (the large intestine is also called the colon), spastic bowel and spastic colon. IBS is also called functional bowel syndrome, irritable colon (the large intestine is also called the colon), spastic bowel and spastic colon.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition which causes the intestines (or bowels, or gut) to be over sensitive. It is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in medical treatment of disorders of the stomach and intestines) and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians. The disorder accounts for more than one out of every 10 doctor visits. For most people, signs and symptoms of irritable bowel disease are mild.The abdominal pain type is usually described in a patient as either diarrhea -predominant ( IBS - D ), constipation -predominant IBS with alternating stool pattern .In some individuals, may have an acute onset and develop after an infectious illness characterised by two or more of the following: fever , vomiting , acute diarrhea , positive stool culture. IBS is a chronic, often debilitating, functional gastrointestial disease with symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea, or alternating between the two stool consistency extremes.

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The common Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome :

  • Strong emotions, such as anxiety or stress, can affect the nerves of the bowel in susceptible people.
  • Toxins accumulating in tissues and blocking circulation.
  • Accumulation of physical and mental stress.
  • certain drugs (such as antibiotics, antacids and painkillers) can lead to constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may worsen during periods of stress or menses, but these factors are unlikely to be the cause that leads to development of IBS.
  • Lowering of natural resistance and immunity.
  • Lactose intolerance can aggravate the bowel.
  • A bout of gastroenteritis can irritate the bowel and cause symptoms.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Some are common Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome :

  • Abdominal pains, especially on the left side, or across the lower abdomen.
  • Chronic and frequent constipation, usually accompanied by pain
  • Alternating between one and the other.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A bloated feeling
  • Bloating and fullness of wind.
  • Constipation .
  • Swollen or bloated abdomen
  • Painful diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloating from gas in the colonbloating from gas in the colon
  • Mucus in the stool

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Here is the list of the methods for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome :

  • Nxiety-reducing measures, such as regular exercise
  • Anticholinergic medications before meals
  • Drugs or treatments to treat constipation in the short term.
  • Milk products, like cheese or ice cream (people who have trouble digesting lactose, or milk sugar could be extra sensitive)
  • Antispasmodic drugs, which may ease cramping.
  • Counseling (in cases of severe anxiety or depression)
  • Stress management, if stress seems to be causing the attacks.
  • A healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and lots of water is a good idea.