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Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Overview

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the intestines that causes cramping, pain, discomfort, distension, gas, diarrhoea and, sometimes, constipation. IBS is a chronic disorder that causes regular discomfort for most and severe signs and symptoms in a few.

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IBS negatively affects the quality of life, ranging to absenteeism at work, anxiety, fatigue, repeated diarrhoea, and may also be the reason for depression in some patients. Unlike other diseases of the intestine, IBS causes no change or abnormality in the structure or tissue.

The diagnosis is made on clinical presentation of the disease in relation to the duration and frequency of complaints. Diet, lifestyle and stress play an important role in IBS.

Two people suffering from IBS may not have the same kind of symptoms. Some may suffer predominantly from diarrhoea while some may predominantly have constipation while some may have both along with pain , nausea , bloating and discomfort.

Being a chronic condition most patients doesn't realise they have IBS as they tend to get used to the symptoms. Increased frequency of stools, gas and loose stools alternating with constipation are some of the common symptoms of IBS and you need to get yourself evaluated if you suffer from these symptoms.