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Sunday 9 June 2013

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Some of you may have noticed the last while, I've referred to IBS, or otherwise known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome quite a few times. That's because for some reason or another, I've been suffering from it, and it's actually taken over my life. So here's some answers to questions that you may have...

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

This is a very common disorder, which can be referred to as IBS, Functional Bowel Disorder, Spastic Bowel, Spastic Colon. It's a disorder of the intestine, which causes abdominal pain, which may include constipation, diarrhoea, or possible periods of both. Many times it can be mistaken for colitis, which is an inflammatory bowel disease that is a more serious condition that involves damage to the colon... which IBS doesn't do any damage to the colon.

IBS affects at least 20% of the population, which is second to the common cold, and is the most frequent cause of missed days at work and/or school. The symptoms can disappear for periods of time, but unfortunately they usually return.

Some Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The true cause of IBS is unknown.

- Eating
- Emotional stress
- Excessive gas
- Medications and food (chocolate, dairy products, alcohol, fructose, coffee, carbohydrates, etc.)
- Female hormones (may worsen during period)
- After a bout of gastroenteritis
- An overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine

Symptoms and Complications of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

- Abdominal pain and cramps, which can appear "on-again" and "off-again"
- Excessive gas
- Urgent need to have a bowel movement
- Constipation or diarrhoea, or altering periods of both
- Bloating
- Changes in bowel habits
- Mucus in the stool

** Blood in the stool IS NOT a symptom of IBS. If you have blood in your stool, constant pain, or have a fever should see a doctor.


  1. Hi Anne Kim,

    This is a very informative post. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comments. I'll have to send this to my hubby seems a great article for him to read.

    Pursuit of Functional Home.

  2. Hi,
    Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, meaning it is a problem caused by changes in how the GI tract works. People with a functional GI disorder have frequent symptoms, but the GI tract does not become damaged. IBS is not a disease; it is a group of symptoms that occur together. The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort, often reported as cramping, along with diarrhea, constipation, or both. In the past, IBS was called colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, nervous colon, and spastic bowel. The name was changed to reflect the understanding that the disorder has both physical and mental causes and is not a product of a person’s imagination.
    Irritable bowel syndrome is estimated to affect 3 to 20 percent of the population, with most studies ranging from 10 to 15 percent.1 However, less than one-third of people with the condition see a health care provider for diagnosis.2 IBS affects about twice as many women as men and is most often found in people younger than 45 years

  3. Very nicely written post it contains useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.


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