Irritable bowel syndrome
- IBS involves a combination of abdominal pain and constipation, diarrhoea, or an alternating pattern of these problems.
- There are many possible causes. For example, there may be a problem with muscle movement in the intestine or a lower tolerance for stretching and movement of the intestine. There is no problem with the structure of the intestine.
- It is not clear why patients develop IBS, but in some instances, it occurs after an intestinal infection. This is called post infectious IBS. There may also be other triggers.
- IBS can occur at any age, but it often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. It is more common in women. The condition is the most common intestinal complaint for which patients are referred to a gastroenterologist.
- Abdominal distention
- Abdominal fullness, gas, bloating
- Abdominal pain that:
- Comes and goes
- Is reduced or goes away after a bowel movement
- Occurs after meals
- Chronic and frequent constipation, usually accompanied by pain
- Chronic and frequent diarrhoea, usually accompanied by pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of appetite
Exams and Tests
- Counselling in cases of severe anxiety or depression
- Medications to stimulate bowel movements for those with constipation