irritable bowel syndrome

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Overview

The typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) include abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.

IBS isn't dangerous. Most people who have it have a mild form which they can cope with quite well without getting any treatment.

But in some people the symptoms are so bad that it significantly affects their everyday lives and becomes a real problem.

There is no cure for IBS. But over time, many people find out what helps and what makes things worse. And there are a number of different ways to relieve the symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you'll need to manage long

Symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you'll need to manage long term.

Causes

IBS can develop after a severe bout of diarrhea (gastroenteritis) caused by bacteria or a virus. IBS might also be associated with a surplus of bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth). Early life stress. People exposed to stressful events, especially in childhood, tend to have more symptoms of IBS .

stressful or difficult early life events, such as physical or sexual abuse.

certain mental disorders, such as depression link, anxiety link, and somatic symptom disorder link.

bacterial infections in your digestive tract.

Risk factors

Muscle contractions in the intestine. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract as they move food through your digestive tract. ...

Nervous system. ...

Severe infection. ...

Early life stress. ...

Changes in gut microbes

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Complications

Research indicates that people with IBS miss three times as many days from work as do those without bowel symptoms. Mood disorders. Experiencing the signs and symptoms of IBS can lead to depression or anxiety. Depression and anxiety also can make IBS worse.

Prevention


It may not be possible to prevent developing IBS, but you can take steps to prevent symptoms for occurring or worsening. As discussed earlier, dietary and lifestyle changes can help you manage symptoms. To identify food triggers, your doctor may suggest that you keep a food diary and avoid foods that cause symptoms.

Try slowly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks with foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. A fiber supplement might cause less gas and bloating than fiber-rich foods. Avoid problem foods. Eliminate foods that trigger your symptoms.