Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Man with Irritable Bowel SyndromeIrritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can feel like an embarrassing condition by those affected by it due to a lack of understanding by those around them.

IBS, when uncontrolled, causes issues that require an individual with the disease to often need a bathroom.  This can cause a feeling of anxiety and for some…a feeling of embarrassment.

It is important to understand that there is a major psychosocial component to this disease.  This chronic condition can greatly reduce quality of life for those afflicted.

IBS is one of the most commonly-diagnosed conditions diagnosed by gastroenterologists.  In fact, irritable bowel disease affects up to 20% of all people.

IBS is defined as a functional bowel disorder which has the typical symptoms of abdominal pain or discomfort that is usually combined with disrupted bowel movements.

There tends to be a disruption in the normal intestinal motility associated with IBS.  Thus unexplained diarrhea or constipation associated with abdominal pain or discomfort can point towards irritable bowel disease.

Irritable bowel disease can be very difficult to diagnose.

IBS can be associated with constipation, diarrhea or a mixture of both.

It has been found that IBS has a complex set of potential causes.  IBS can have a strong psychological component in some causes while other cases have strictly biological causes.

Recent science is suggesting that there is a strong interconnection between our guts and our brain.  Therefore, it is quite plausible that there can be a psychological component to IBS.  Due to this connection, psychotherapy can be helpful in some cases of IBS.

Stressful life situations have been linked to bowel disruption disorders and IBS.

Due to the complex nature of IBS, diagnosing and treating the condition can be very difficult.  Treatment of IBS for the most part means relieving the symptoms associated with the disease.

IBS treatments includes:

  • fiber supplementation for constipation
  • antidiarrheal agent loperamide
  • low‐dose antidepressants or antispasmodics for pain
  • other pharmacological agents developed specifically for IBS

You may also wish to learn about constipation or learn about diarrhea.