Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Some go back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines.
IBS is a common disorder and happens more often in women than men. No one knows the exact cause of IBS. There is no specific test for IBS. However, your doctor may run tests to be sure you don’t have other diseases. These tests may include stool sampling tests, blood tests and x-rays. Your doctor may also do a test called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Most people diagnosed with IBS can control their symptoms with diet, stress management and medicine.
Irritable bowel syndrome affects an estimated 35 million Americans. Get in-depth articles here on irritable bowel syndrome causes, symptoms, and treatments. Plus, get help daily on our online support groups.