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IBS/Irritable Bowels

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the intestines that leads to crampy pain, gassiness, bloating and changes in bowel habits.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is usually a long-term disorder of the intestines which may cause:

  • cramping
  • belly pain
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • mucus in the stools
  • a feeling that you have not completely emptied your bowels

IBS does not worsen over time, nor does it cause more serious diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. However, the severity of your symptoms may be better or worse from day to day. Fortunately there are things you can do to reduce your symptoms.

Causes

Many doctors believe IBS is caused by mixed signals between the brain and the intestines. This causes problems with the way the muscles of the intestines move. Though no one is entirely certain whether this is the cause of IBS or not, what is understood is that the movement of the digestive tract does not work as it should.

For some people with IBS, stress, certain foods, antibiotics or hormonal changes can trigger symptoms.