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What is IBS?

What is IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. It is characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and changes in bowel movements.

IBS is not a disease, but rather a group of symptoms that can cause discomfort and interfere with daily activities. It is a chronic condition that can last for months or years and is often managed through diet, lifestyle changes, and medication.

The exact cause of IBS is not known, but it is thought to be related to a variety of factors such as genetics, stress, and changes in the gut microbiome.

Symptoms of IBS can vary from person to person and may include:

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort that is relieved by having a bowel movement
  • Bloating and swelling of the abdomen
  • Changes in bowel movements, including diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Feeling of incomplete bowel movements
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement

IBS is often diagnosed based on symptoms and a physical examination. However, other tests may be performed to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms, such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease.

Treatment for IBS focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. This may involve making changes to diet and lifestyle, such as avoiding triggers that can cause symptoms to flare up, and incorporating stress-reducing techniques. Medications may also be prescribed to help control symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms of IBS, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. While there is no cure for IBS, proper management can help reduce symptoms and improve overall well-being.

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