Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by mild to severe abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating and alteration of bowel habits. In some cases, the symptoms are relieved by bowel movements.Diarrhea or constipation may predominate, or they may alternate (classified as IBS-D, IBS-C or IBS-A, respectively). IBS may begin after an infection (post-infectious, IBS-PI) or a stressful life event. Other functional or pain disorders and certain psychological conditions are more common in those with IBS.



Although there is no cure for IBS, there are treatments which attempt to relieve symptoms, including dietary adjustments, medication and psychological interventions. Patient education and a good doctor-patient relationship are also important.

Several conditions may present as IBS including celiac disease, mild infections, parasitic infections like giardiasis several inflammatory bowel diseases, functional chronic constipation and chronic functional abdominal pain. In IBS, routine clinical tests yield no abnormalities, though the bowels may be more sensitive to certain stimuli, such as balloon insufflation testing. The exact cause of IBS is unknown. The most common theory is that IBS is a disorder of the interaction between the brain and the gut, although there may also be abnormalities in the gut flora or the immune system



The UCSD School of Medicine and the Diana Padelford Binkley Foundation bring you the newest installments of this innovative series targeted at successfully managing pain in women. Studies show women often receive inadequate care as pain manifests uniquely in the sexes and requires distinctive treatment strategies. In this program, Emeran A. Mayer, M.D., Director UCLA Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women's Health, talks about irritable bowel syndrome. Series: Pain Management in Women Over the Lifecycle

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