Conditions InDepth: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
by Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
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.
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:
What are the risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome?
What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?
What are the treatments for irritable bowel syndrome?
Are there screening tests for irritable bowel syndrome?
How can I reduce my risk of irritable bowel syndrome?
What questions should I ask my doctor?
What is it like to live with irritable bowel syndrome?
Where can I get more information about irritable bowel syndrome?
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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