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Irritable bowel syndrome Overview

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Irritable bowel syndrome Overview

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms including abdominal pain and changes in the pattern of bowel movements without any evidence of underlying damage. The case is most common to women, It may effect people between teens to 40.

Irritable bowel syndrome is classified in to four depending on symptoms

  • IBS-D : In the condition where  diarrhea is common.
  • IBS-C : In the condition where  Constipation is common.
  • IBS-M :In the condition where  both diarrhea and constipation is common.
  • IBS-U : In the condition where  both diarrhea and constipation occurs very often.

Disorders such as anxiety, major depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome are common among people with IBS as affects quality of work negatively.

Causes of the disease is specifically unknown but some conditions may trigger the situation and some theories regarding this

  • gut–brain axis problems,
  • gut motility disorders,
  • pain sensitivity,
  • infections including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,
  • neurotransmitters,
  • genetic factors,
  • food sensitivity.
  • Onset may be triggered by an intestinal infection, or stressful life event
  • rhythmic muscle movements
  • bowel muscles spasm
  • hypersensitive
  • overreacting to mild stimulation.
  • hormones

Signs and symptoms

  • abdominal pain or discomfort in association with frequent diarrhea or constipation and a change in bowel habits.
  • Belly pains or cramps, usually in the lower half of the belly,
  • Belly pain get worse after meals and feels better after bowel movement
  • gas or bloating
  • Harder or looser stools than normal


  • Diagnosis is done based on the symptoms but there are no specific lab test regarding IBS.
  • Symptoms which helps in diagnosis are
    • Food allergies
    • Infection
    • Enzyme deficiencies (May be due insufficient release of enzymes by pancreas)
    •  ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Some tests are conducted regarding diagnosis are like
    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
    • Upper endoscopy
    • X-rays
    • Blood tests to look for anemia
    • Stool tests for blood or infections
    • Tests for lactose intolerance, gluten allergy, or celiac disease

Treatment & Management

A number of treatments have been found to be effective, including fiber, talk therapy, antispasmodic and antidepressant medication, and peppermint oil.

  • The use of antispasmodic drugs may help patients with cramps or diarrhea.
  • Yoga may be effective for some IBS patients, especially poses which exercise the lower abdomen


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