Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects as many as one of every five Americans, women twice as often as men. It can cause abdominal pain, bloating and irregular bowel movements. Some people have predominently diarrhea; others have constipation. Many people alternate between loose stools and constipation.
The Symptoms Of IBS
There is no perfect test to confirm a diagnosis of IBS. The diagnosis is based on your symptoms, the absence of worrisome findings on physical examination and not having any signs of another condition that might cause similar symptoms. Each person with IBS usually has his or her own particular symptoms, such as:
People who are unfamiliar with IBS may not fully appreciate the pain it can cause. There is no blood test or X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. So patients may understandably become frustrated. IBS is a diagnosis based on how well your symptoms fit, after testing has not revealed any other explanation. Because doctors commonly test for several other medical problems before naming IBS as your diagnosis, IBS is described by some experts as a diagnosis of exclusion.
The cause of IBS remains an area of research that does not have clear answers. Studies have shown that IBS patients have different patterns of intestinal motility (movement) than is normal, and people with IBS have unusually sensitive nerves along their intestine that may send more pain signals to the brain than is normal when the bowel is active, even though the bowel is functioning normally or near normally.
ibs,bowel,diarrhea,irritable bowel syndrome,abdominal pain,constipation