Sunday, June 18, 2006

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional GI disorder characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in the absence of demonstrable organic pathology. Osler coined the term mucous colitis in 1892 when he wrote of a disorder of mucorrhea and abdominal colic with a high incidence in patients with coincident psychopathology. Since that time, the syndrome has been referred to by sundry terms, including spastic, irritable, and nervous colon.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common disorders that physicians see. Yet it's also one that many people aren't comfortable talking about. IBS is characterized by abdominal pain or cramping and changes in bowel function — including bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation — problems most people don't like to discuss. What's more, for many years IBS was considered a psychological rather than a physical problem.

The disorder accounts for more than one out of every 10 doctor visits. For most people, signs and symptoms of irritable bowel disease are mild. Only a small percentage of people with IBS have severe signs and symptoms.
Fortunately, unlike more serious intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease, IBS doesn't cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In many cases, you can control IBS by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress.

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