IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic (long-term) gastrointestinal disorder historically referred to as spastic colon and mucous colitis, though it is not a true colitis.

Symptoms of IBS include bloating and flatulence, abdominal cramping or pain, and variable bowel habits, either diarrhea or constipation, or alternation between the two conditions.

IBS has no known organic cause, and thus is thought of as a functional bowel disease.IBS is thought to be as a result of disruption in gut-brain communication, with its onset more likely to occur after an infection or a stressful life event. In some individuals, abnormalities in gut-flora, also known as the microbiome, may occur. IBS affects roughly 1 in 4 people, of all ages of which about two-thirds are females. The symptoms of IBS can overlap with the symptoms of Celiac disease, causing confusion, but Celiac disease only occurs in less than 1% of Americans.

IBS is a source of chronic pain, discomfort, and fatigue, contributing significantly to work absenteeism in the U.S.

While no known cure for IBS exists, effective management to relieve symptoms does exist, and include dietary adjustments and attention to nutritional intake. Patient education and good doctor-patient relationships are considered to be important factors in the relief of symptoms.

For more information on IBS, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irritable_bowel_syndrome

Watch the Dr. Viv blog for more information on IBS and dietary measures that can help you manage your symptoms.

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