What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Ibs?

By: JP Richardson

So, what exactly is irritable bowel syndrome, or "IBS"? Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder which is characterized by pain in the abdominal area and drastic changes in bowel habits. IBS is a common condition.

Irritable bowel syndrome has several symptoms. Some of these include frequent defecation, bloating, anxiety, headaches, frequent diarrhea, and constipation.

The exact cause of IBS is unknown because there is no specific lab test which can be used to diagnose the disorder.

Irritable bowel syndrome is often misdiagnosed, and most commonly cases of coeliac disease is thought to be IBS.

There are several medical conditions which go hand in hand with IBS, such as headaches, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and depression.

Some research suggests that irritable bowel syndrome is caused by an active infection which has gone undetected and the antibiotic Rifaximin has proven to be effective in providing relief for those who suffer from IBS.

As far as treatment for IBS goes, there are several approaches.

First of all, diet can make a big difference. Adding soluble fiber to one's diet, substituting milk products with rice and soy based products, avoiding insoluble fiber, and eating more daily meals with smaller portions can have a positive impact. Also, avoiding red meat, fried foods, coffee, alcholol, and carbonated beverages can help.

Laxatives can also provide relief. Stool softeners can help in cases where dietary fiber isn't proving to be effective.

Also, antispasmodic drugs such as hyoscyamine or dicyclomine may help IBS patients, especially those who experience strong cramps or diarrhea.

Bowel Problems
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