Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also known by its initials, as simply IBS, as spastic colon, and mucous colitis.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition in which recurrent abdominal pain in combination with constipation and/or diarrhoea can persist for years without other more general deterioration in the person's physical health.
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome unknown but the condition is often associated with stress or anxiety, and may follow severe infection of the intestine (for more about the intestines see small intestine and large intestine).
Symptoms & Effects of irritable bowel syndrome:
There is no detectable structural disease but symptoms may be due to:
- Abnormal muscular contractions in the intestine.
- Increased sensitivity to stimuli such as stretching or distension.
Medical Tests and Treatments for irritable bowel syndrome may include:
Medical tests may be performed to investigate the possibility of specific organic diseases and other possible causes of the symptoms.
Treatment may involve:
- Addressing any anxiety (e.g. psychotherapy)
- Dietary adjustments
- Faecal softening agents
- Drugs to reduce spasm and/or reduce sensitivity to pain.
More about the Digestive System:
This section includes pages about:
- Introduction to the Digestive System
- Terminology about Digestion
- Passage through the alimentary tract
- Component Parts of the Digestive System, incl. Teeth, Stomach, Liver, Small Intestine, Large Intestine
- Chemical Processes in the Digestive System (introductory level)
- Diseases and Disorders of the Digestive System
For further information see also our pages of books about gastroenterology.
- The digestive system (introduction)
- Digestive System Terminology
- Main Stages of the Digestive Process
- Transit through the Alimentary Canal
- Absorption Sites
- Structures of the mouth
- Teeth - as part of the digestive system
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
- Digestive System Diseases & Disorders