Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is also called spastic colon or mucous colitis. It is a common problem of the bowel (intestines). With IBS, food does not move through the bowel normally. The food may be pushed through the bowel too slowly or too quickly. The bowel is the long tube that connects the stomach with the anus. The anus is the opening where bowel movements (BM) pass from the body. With IBS, the normal contractions of the bowel are painful.
IBS is more common in people under 35 years. Women get IBS more than men. You may have it on and off during your lifetime but symptoms sometimes go away as you age. IBS cannot be cured but it can be controlled.
It is not known for sure what causes IBS. Following are possible causes of IBS:
The signs and symptoms of IBS may come and go any time. You may have one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
Try to decrease the stress in your life as it can make your IBS symptoms worse. Aerobic exercise is a good way to reduce stress.
Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.
Research has shown that acupuncture, biofeedback, and hypnosis can decrease IBS symptoms.
Your BM may need to be tested for blood, abnormal bacteria, or parasites. You may also have blood tests and bowel x-rays.
Other ways of treating your symptoms : Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.
Talk to your caregiver if:
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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