What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel SyndromeThere is a lot of controversy surrounding Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Some doctors feel that the condition does not really exist, and it is more psychosomatic in origin. Whereas other doctors consider it to be a real syndrome that people suffer from, without any specific agent that causes it.

In basic terms, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a specific illness by a syndrome consisting of various symptoms. It is described as a motility disorder in which the nerves supplying the intestines do not function they way they should. The person is said to be “rewired” or “wired incorrectly”. This malfunction of the motor nervous system explains why it is known as an “Irritable” bowel condition.

Therefore, any suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome will either have bouts of diarrhea or constipation depending on what subtype of the condition manifests itself. The gut can increase or decrease in its motility. However, the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are bloating, accompanied by pain in the abdomen, and a general feeling of discomfort.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome does affect the health of the colon with symptoms either increasing or decreasing, or becoming much worse. Many people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome complain of stress worsening the condition, and certain foods causing it to exacerbate. Usually a gastrointestinal specialist will have the patient keep a food diary of everything eaten. Then it is possible to see what foods help or worsen the symptoms of IBS, and eliminate the foods that worsen your symptoms.

In order to be given a diagnosis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, your doctor must exclude the possibilities of all other gastrointestinal conditions. This is done by taking a medical history and a physical examination. Not one specific test is performed to diagnose IBS, but rather the physician will perform a series of test to exclude Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, or Ulcerative Colitis. These are only examples of certain diseases that have similar symptoms of IBS, and might cause a misdiagnosis to be made.