Conditions InDepth: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the intestines. It can lead to belly pain, cramping, gas, and bloating. Pain from IBS is often better after a bowel movement.

The Intestines

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Causes of IBS

The exact cause of IBS is unknown. Nerves, muscles, air, and movement all help the intestines work smoothly. One or more problems in any of these may lead to IBS. For some, IBS may start after a bacterial infection. It's not known why this happens.

Types of IBS

IBS types are based on the bowel habit that's causing the most problems:

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References:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated September 12, 2017. Accessed June 28, 2018.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs. Updated November 2017. Accessed June 28, 2018.
Wilkins T, Pepitone C, Alex B, Schade RR. Diagnosis and management of IBS in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(5):419-426.
4/22/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed...: Johannesson E, Simrén M, Strid H, Bajor A, Sadik R. Physical activity improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011;106(5):915-922.
Last reviewed May 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 6/28/2018

 

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