Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Causes and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a medical disorder related to digestive tract. It is also called by other names like mucous colitis, functional bowel syndrome and spastic colon. The condition is characterized by diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain and cramping. It is not a serious disorder and can be controlled. Some people become disabled disrupting their daily activities.

It is estimated that about 20% of Americans face this syndrome. It is more common in women that in men. It is observed that people below the age 35 are mostly affected.

Causes of Intermittent Bowel Syndrome
The exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome are not known till today. But it is studied that some factors may be responsible for the disorder. They are:

  • Altered signals in between brain and digestive tract
  • Increased awareness of normal body functions
  • Abnormal digestive tract movements
  • Abnormal movements of large intestine
  • Inflammation of digestive tract due to bacterial and viral infections

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary in each person. The common signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include:

  • Alternate periods of constipation and diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Excess gas
  • Change in consistency and frequency of stools
  • Bloating
  • Mucus discharge from rectum
  • Abdominal distension
  • Vomiting
  • Black stools
  • Blood in the urine
  • Mild fever

The signs and symptoms worsen during menstrual cycles and stress.

Seek a medical professional if you experience the above symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Even if you observe unusual symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, consult a doctor.

Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The doctor performs certain tests to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. Many tests are done because the disease condition is very difficult to diagnose. The tests include:

  • Endoscopy (colonoscopy)
  • Imaging tests such as small intestinal scans and CT scans
  • Combination of physical and family history examinations

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