Common Names:Upset Stomach, Spastic Colon, Irritable Colon, Mucous Colitis, Spastic Colitis
About this Ailment:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms.
IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In IBS, the structure of the bowel is not abnormal.
As a functional bowel disorder, IBS has no known organic cause. Diarrhea or constipation may predominate, or they may alternate. IBS is likely to occur after an infection, a stressful life event, or onset of maturity. There is no diagnostic test for IBS. Diagnosis is made through elimination and symptoms provided there is an absence of alarm features such as age of onset greater than 50 years, weight loss, gross hematochezia, systemic signs of colitis, or a family history of inflammatory bowel disease.
The primary symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort in association with frequent diarrhea or constipation, a change in bowel habits. There may also be urgency for bowel movements, a feeling of incomplete evacuation, bloating or abdominal distention. In some cases, the symptoms are relieved by bowel movements. People with IBS, more commonly than others, have gastro esophageal reflux, symptoms relating to the genitourinary system, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, backache and psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Some studies indicate that up to 60% of persons with IBS also have a psychological disorder, typically anxiety or depression.
Abdominal pain or cramping, Stomach bloating, Gas, Diarrhea or constipation, Mucus in the stool