Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder; in simple words, it is a disorder that disturbs the large intestine. Previously, irritable bowel syndrome was named as spastic colon, nervous colon or mucous colitis.

Abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea are common symptoms and signs of irritable bowel syndrome. There is no risk of colorectal cancer or change in bowel tissue; there is only problem in motility.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a persistent condition and has to be managed for long terms. The symptoms of this disease are different in patients and few of the patients can control it by taking a balanced diet and changing their lifestyle. Only a few of the patients of this disease experience severe symptoms, however, it can be treated with medication and change of lifestyle.


Symptoms may vary individual to individual depending upon the cause of the disorder. Some of the common symptoms are as follows:

  • Discomfort in the abdomen
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Gas and gastric pain
  • Stool with mucus
  • Loose stool
  • Infrequent stool
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Some patient may have diarrhea and some may have constipation. These symptoms are so commonly faced by everyone and they consider it as a regular upset stomach, but if the symptoms remain constant for more than a few days then you really need to consult a physician.


The particular reason behind the irritable bowel syndrome is unknown. Some factors that contribute towards the syndrome include:

  1. When the muscles of the intestine have stronger contractions then it could lead towards causing gas, diarrhea and bloating.
  2. When the muscles in the intestine have weak contraction then the movement of food becomes slow resulting in dry and hard stool
  3. Any irregularities in the nerves of the digestive system result in discomfort in the abdomen when it expands due to stool or gas.
  4. Hypersensitivity from a bowel or gas
  5. Imbalance of Reproductive hormones
  6. Genetics is also one of the most common cause, as you can get this syndrome through heredity.
  7. Acute infections from bacteria or virus.
  8. Intestinal inflammation.
  9. Microflora a good bacteria in the intestine may differ in the patients from normal people

What triggers Irritable bowel syndrome?

There are a few factors that can trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Such as

Hormonal changes play a vital role in triggering symptoms of the syndrome. During menstrual cycle, most of the women experience an increase in the symptoms. As women have frequent hormonal changes; this makes them most likely to have the Irritable bowel syndrome.

Food for the majority of the people is a cause of Irritable bowel syndrome; they experience worse symptoms when they drink or eat a particular food.

Increase in stress has been reported by many patients as a major trigger of Irritable bowel syndrome. Stress can only make symptom worst and isn’t a reason behind it.

Diagnosis of Irritable bowel syndrome

There is no such specific diagnostic test available for the syndrome. The physician may look into your comprehensive medical history and run down some test to know about other medical condition. Once other conditions are found then the physician will adopt any of the following diagnostic criteria for Irritable bowel syndrome

  1. Manning criteria.In this criteria doctor will keep a check on relief of pain by passing stool. Along with this changes in the consistency of the stool is observed. If these symptoms are present then there is a high possibility of the disorder.
  2. Rome criteria.In this criteria, he will look for abdominal pain and discomfort that lasts longer than one day a week during the last three months to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. Related to these issues: discomfort and pain are connected to defecation, the occurrence of defecation is changed, or stool consistency is changed.

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