Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a condition that affects the
intestinal tract, more specifically the colon or the large intestine.
First thought of as a psychosomatic disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is
now considered a functional disorder which means that though physical
disorders are not present, this still does not negate that there is an
actual source of pain. It all lies in the physiological factors rather
than the physical components such as the anatomy of the intestine or the
chemical interaction within the system.

Since it is a syndrome, it is characterized by a combination of symptoms
for which the causes are unknown.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is known to be one of the most prevalent
conditions diagnosed in primary health care. In fact, one in every ten
hospital visits is known to cover this disorder.

Signs and symptoms
Most patients experience mild to severe abdominal cramping, bloating,
flatulence, constipation, diarrhea or an alternation of both.

In most people, the symptoms are mild. However, for more aggravated
conditions, severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be disabling which for
some reasons, do not respond well to medications and treatment.

It can also be a chronic condition which can affect people for longer
periods. However, there are periods when there is not one sign at all of
being affected by this disorder. However, it is likely that once the
symptoms reoccur, the condition is worsened.

Fortunately, unlike with other intestinal disease, Irritable Bowel
Disorder does not develop into more serious conditions since it does not
cause inflammation or damage on the tissue of the intestines.


While there seems to be lots of documented cases of Irritable Bowel
Syndrome, there is still no known cause for this disorder.

The intestinal walls are lined with muscles that regularly contract to
facilitate the digestion of food. This then will relax to release the
digested food, which will then be delivered towards the rectum. In normal
states, these muscles contract and relax at a coordinated rhythm. For
people with irritable bowel syndrome though, there seems to be a
significant disorder in this process. For some, the muscles contract and
relax stronger while for other patients, the opposite occurs. This
condition then leaves the person bloated or feeling uncomfortable with
their bowel movement.
A number of studies assert that changes in the actions of nerves can have
effects in the bowel movement. Others believe that there must be some
roles that the autonomic nervous system play in the control and sensation
covered by this syndrome. Still others believe that hormonal changes may
have some effects on this syndrome since women are more likely to develop
this disorder as compared with men.


Since we don't know exactly why this syndrome occurs, the medical
community has not yet produced any effective cure to eliminate this
disease. It is however a common knowledge that changes in lifestyle, diet
and stress management can all add up to the possibilities of treating
this disease. Abstention from certain foods that trigger this disease
also proves helpful.

Such problematic foods include mostly all fat-based products and those
that have high fat content.

Symptoms can also be relieved through medications. Be careful though that
you follow the strict guidelines that were given to you by your physician
to avoid side effects and drug interaction.

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