Home > Causes of Pain > What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Ibs Abdominal

There are many diseases and disorders that affect the stomach and the intestines but Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common and one of the most irritating to live with.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS, is a chronic intestinal disorder that affects as many as one in five adults. This disorder is most commonly characterised by bouts of abdominal pain, cramping and diarrhoea. In some individuals, however, the symptoms can occur as mild abdominal discomfort, bloating and constipation.

During a flare-up of Irritable Bowel Syndrome individuals will usually begin experiencing stomach pains after a large meal. These pains can come and go or be constant for hours. Following the onset of pain the individual may feel an overwhelming need to use the restroom, along with the sensation of gas and intestinal contractions. These feelings usually subside after the bowels have been emptied.

Although constipation can occur during bouts of IBS, the more common symptom is diarrhoea. Diarrhoea occurs after large meals or episodes of intense stress in individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and can occur up to three times in one day. The symptoms of diarrhoea usually subside after the contents of the intestines have been passed completely but some suffers experience a lingering feeling of urgency to go due to continued muscle spasms in the intestines.

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Serious or Debilitating?

Although Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be frustrating, embarrassing and extremely difficult to cope with, the disorder itself is not serious enough to cause problems with overall health nor will it lead to other more serious health conditions. However, the disorder can be debilitating in some individuals.

For individuals with severe or untreated, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the disorder can compromise everyday activities. In these cases individuals may be unable to work, travel, visit with friends or take on regular daily activities. Frequent bouts of diarrhoea and severe abdominal cramping can interfere with their ability to lead normal, productive lives. The good news, however, is that with treatment and management techniques the symptoms can usually be controlled enough to allow close to normal activity.

Who is at Risk for Developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Since as much as 20% of the population is suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it is important to understand the signs and determine your own risk for developing this disorder. IBS is more common in women than it is in men and is more likely to occur in adults under the age of 35. Although the exact cause of IBS has not yet been determined, the disorder is more common in individuals who also suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, extreme stress and poor diet. IBS is also more common in individuals with compromised immune systems, individuals who smoke and individuals who consume a large amount of caffeine.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition with no known cure or cause. In order to lower the risk of developing this distressing disorder individuals are encouraged to practice good eating habits, get regular exercise and develop mediation techniques in order to control stress.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Frenchy
    Re: How Cauda Equina Syndrome Affects the Stomach
    @Cutter, Dont worry about what you speak of. It is impossible to balance your gut motility based on your…
    2 September 2018
  • Sjones
    Re: Symptoms of Stomach Migraines
    When I started menopause 8yesrs ago I had my first stomach attack. With me I start to sweat profusely then comes the pain so…
    26 May 2018
  • Kutter
    Re: How Cauda Equina Syndrome Affects the Stomach
    I have had cauda equina syndrome now for 10 years. For a considerable amount of that time I took…
    18 May 2018
  • Mavalis
    Re: Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
    I also have this chest pain and my heart is beating very fast and painfull and the other thing is that my left side breast it pains.i…
    15 May 2018
  • Keshy
    Re: Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
    I was diagnosed of gastric ulcer after I went for an endoscopy. I have used intravenous rabeprazole and now am using ulsakit. But I…
    28 April 2018
  • Mark
    Re: Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
    Hello guys, first all of you have to visit gi. And done ugd, then only Dr have to came to know what happened inside your stomach. Yes…
    22 April 2018
  • Gloria
    Re: What is Thickening of the Bowel?
    I had a virtual colonoscopy and was told I had a thickened left colon. I have acute bouts of lower left abdominal pain which…
    18 April 2018
  • BABY GIRL TN
    Re: What is Thickening of the Bowel?
    HI CAN SOME BODY TELL ME WHAT MILD SMALL BOWEL VERSUS IN THICENING RELATED TO UNDERDISTENTION MEAN?
    15 April 2018
  • TummyTrouble
    Re: Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
    Princess gold - Your Question:I av ulcer and I feel tiredness, dizzy, pain under my left breast ? Is it still a sign of ulcer ?
    27 March 2018
  • Princess gold
    Re: Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
    I av ulcer and I feel tiredness, dizzy, pain under my left breast ? Is it still a sign of ulcer ?
    27 March 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TummyTrouble website. Please read our Disclaimer.