Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by altered bowel habits associated with chronic abdominal bloating or pain. IBS is different from IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease). About 1 in 6 people in the U.S. have some symptoms of IBS. Females are more likely to have IBS than males. Based on the bowel habits, IBS can be classified as: 1. Diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D); 2. Constipation-predominant (IBS-C); 3. IBS with mixed diarrhea and constipation(IBS-M); 4. IBS with alternating diarrhea and constipation(IBS-A). IBS is used to be a diagnosis of exclusion, which means patients with IBS have alternated bowel habits and pain, but no organic pathology can be found. Now, most experts think IBS is a GI disorder related to post bacterial infection, psychological, neurophysiological alterations, etc.
Causes and Risk Factors:
Common ones are:
- Younger age
- Female gender
- Family history of IBS
- Certain bacterial infection
- Anxiety or depression
Symptoms and Signs
Common ones are:
- Altered bowel habits
- Diarrhea. Diarrhea mostly occurs at daytime, rarely at night.
- Diarrhea alternates with constipation
- Abdominal pain. Pain is characteristically relieved after a bowel movement.
- Mucus in stool
Symptoms that are not support of IBS:
- Rectal bleeding
- Fatty diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea happens at night
- Old person
- Happen suddenly
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis is based on a history and physical examination. The Rome III criteria for the diagnosis of IBS require that patients have had recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days per month during the previous 3 months that is associated with 2 or more of the following:
- Relieved by defecation
- Onset associated with a change in stool frequency
- Onset associated with a change in stool form or appearance
Meanwhile, one or more of the following tests are necessary to rule out other illnesses that are similar to IBS:
After the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment is focused on the relief of symptoms, assurance, psychological counseling and cognitive behavior therapy, etc.
- PubMed Health.
- Mayo clinic online health information.
- Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease- by Mark Feldman MD, et al.
- The Little Black Book of Gastroenterology-by David W. Hay.
- Principles of Clinical Gastroenterology by Tadataka Yamada, et al.