Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) definition
- What causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- How is the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) made?
- What are the treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What medications are used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What about IBS and diet?
- Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related to small bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?
- What is the prognosis for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) definition
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by the presence of a cluster of symptoms that includes abdominal pain, altered bowel habits, increased gas, bloating (distention), cramping, and food intolerance.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a "functional" disorder. This term refers to the changes in the functioning of the digestive system that results in the collection of symptoms referred to as IBS. Meaning that it is a problem with the movement (motility) rather than any damage to the tissues of the digestive system.
In the past, irritable bowel syndrome was also called spastic colon or bowel, functional bowel disease, mucous colitis, or nervous colon. IBS is not the same as colitis, which is a group of separate conditions also referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
What causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown. It is believed to be due to a number of factors including alteration in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract motility, abnormal nervous system signals, increased sensitivity to pain, and food intolerances. Some factors believed to cause IBS include:
- Abnormal movements of the colon and small intestines (too fast or slow, or too strong)
- Hypersensitivity to pain from a full bowel or gas
- Food sensitivities, possibly caused by poor absorption of sugars or acids in food
- Gastroenteritis, a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and intestines, may trigger IBS symptoms
- Psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression are observed in many people with IBS, though they have not been found to be a direct cause of IBS.
- Reproductive hormones or neurotransmitters may be off-balance in people with IBS
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Genetics is thought to be a possible cause of IBS, but so far this link has not been proven.
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