IBS is the abbreviated term for Irritable
Bowel Syndrome, which is also known as spastic
colon, and mucous colitis.
IBS is a common condition in which recurrent abdominal
pain in combination with constipation and/or diarrhoea can persist for
years - without other more general deterioration in the person's physical
The cause of IBS unknown but the condition is often associated
with stress or anxiety, and may follow severe infection of the intestine
(for more information about the intestines see small
intestine and large
Symptoms & Effects of IBS:
There is no detectable structural disease but symptoms may be due
- Abnormal muscular contractions in the intestine.
- Increased sensitivity to stimuli such as stretching or distension.
Medical Tests and Treatments for IBS
Medical tests may be performed to investigate the possibility of specific
organic diseases and other possible causes of the symptoms.
Treatment may involve:
- Addressing any anxiety (e.g. psychotherapy)
- Dietary adjustments
- Faecal softening agents
- Drugs to reduce spasm and/or reduce sensitivity to pain.