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              Irritable Bowel Syndrome Overview        ibsgraphic.jpg (18401 bytes)

 

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is the result of   functional abdominal pain. Functional, in medical terms, simply means that there is no known organic disease. IBS is a collection of symptoms that the medical community has not found a cause, or cure for.

What are the major symptoms of IBS?

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

The food you eat, and the fluids you drink all pass through the  gastrointestinal system, the GI tract. The GI tract is fueled by   muscles and nerves that connect, to the spinal cord and brain. Events occurring in the GI tract are relayed to the brain through neural connections, the response of the brain is relayed back to the gastrointestinal tract. This activity results in any sensation you feel in the bowel. If any abnormality interupts this process, you will experience a change in your GI tract. You may experience acute diarrhea, or constipation. You will experience pain and bloating.

In some cases, the contents of your digestive tract may move to slow. This can cause pain, cramping, reflux (heartburn), bloating and vomiting. It is known that high levels of anxiety, and stress can induce diarrhea.

Who is affected by irritable bowel syndrome?

How can IBS affect afflicted children?

Children with irritable bowel syndrome often feel sick, and tired. They may have little warning when they need to use the bathrom, which could result in accidents. They may be emarrassed and refuse to go to school. They can become depressed or anxious as a result of this disorder. They may also refuse to eat, to avoid the pain and other symptoms, causing them to need special dietary help to stay healthy.

Do You have IBS?

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can mimic other curable conditions. Always consult your physician, and take the appropriate tests to rule out other conditions.

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

Your physician will obtain a  medical history, perform an examination, and order certain tests. They will go over the data, and if they find an absence of other disorders, will begin to treat you for IBS. Some of the tests they may require are;

Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome:

I.B.S. should not be be mistaken for Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
(It is possible to get a diagnosis of IBS concurrent with a diagnosis of IBD.)

IBD is a Chronic inflammation of the bowel common to a group of conditions that includes Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. The conditions cycle through periods of activity and remission.  Periods of inflammatory activity cause diarrhoea, pain, bloody stools and poor absorption of nutrients.

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Page Updated: September 05, 2007

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