Irritable bowel syndrome is a type of gastrointestinal disorder which changes the function of digestive system. IBS mainly affects the large intestine which leads to abdominal pain and a change in the pattern of the bowel movement. Due to changing pattern of bowel movement, the person suffers from either diarrhea or constipation.
IBS develops for a lifetime and one can only cure the symptoms related to it. IBS is also known as functional bowel syndrome, irritable colon, spastic colon and spastic bowel. The main cause of the IBS is yet not clear. Theoretically, it is believed that IBS is a combination of abnormal gastrointestinal tract movement and also a disruption in the gut brain axis.
It may be triggered in one’s body due to intestinal infection. Stress in daily life is also a factor for the onset of IBS.
Data shows that about 10-15% of people in the developed world are affected by IBS. The disease is more common in South America and women are mostly affected by it than men. It develops between 20-30 years of age.
IBS does not cause any threat to life expectancy. It just affects the normal routine of a person. A person can experience abdominal pain which affects the activities of his daily life.
IBS has been classified into four different types:
People suffering from IBS have symptoms like:
The cause of IBS has not yet been identified completely, but it is believed that a combination of various problems causes IBS.
Panic disorder, anxiety, depression are common in people suffering from IBS but the link between mental health and IBS is still not clear.
There is no specific laboratory test to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. Ruling out method is used in which conditions that produce IBS like symptoms are excluded.
Ruling out parasitic infections, lactose intolerance, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is recommended for all patients before a diagnosis of IBS is made.
Certain tests are also done to decide whether the patient is suffering from IBS or not. These are:
Since a person suffers from different symptoms in IBS, there is no single treatment that works for everyone. Many things can trigger IBS symptoms.
One may need to make certain changes in their diet:
Following drugs are used to treat IBS:
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