IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is problem that affects mainly the large
intestines. The bowel is the part of the digestive system that makes and
stores stool. The word syndrome means a group of symptoms. IBS is a syndrome
because it can cause bloating, gas diarrhea and/or constipation.

IBS is not a disease. It is a functional disorder, which means that the bowel
does not work the way that it should.

With IBS, the nerves and muscles in the bowel are extra sensitive. The muscles
may contract too much when you eat. These contractions can cause cramping and
diarrhea during or shortly after a meal. Or the nerves can be overly sensitive
to the stretching of the bowel (because of gas). Cramping or pain can result.

IBS can be painful but it does not damage the bowel or cause any other diseases.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of IBS are:

  • Crampy pain in the abdomen
  • Painful diarrhea or constipation
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Swollen or bloated abdomen
  • The feeling that you cannot fully evacuate your bowels

Most people with IBS have either diarrhea or constipation but some people have both.
More than 10 million people in the United States suffer from hemorrhoids.
Three out of four people develop hemorrhiods at some time in their lives.

How is IBS diagnosed?

The clinician will diagnose IBS based on your symptoms. You might have some medical
tests to rule out other diseases.

Does stress cause IBS?

Emotional stress will not cause a person to develop IBS. If you already have IBS, stress
can trigger symptoms In fact, the bowel can overreact to all sorts of things, including
food, exercise and hormones.