Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder characterized most commonly by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress, but it does not permanently harm the intestines and does not lead to a serious disease, such as cancer. Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and prescribed medications. For some people, however, IBS can be disabling. They may be unable to work, attend social events, or even travel short distances. As many as 20 percent of the adult population, or one in five Americans, have symptoms of IBS, making it one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors. It occurs more often in women than in men, and it begins before the age of 35 in about 50 percent of people.
[SOURCE: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) / http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/ ]
Key Point 1
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder that affects the large intestines. The condition does not cause permanent damage to the colon, however it is important to rule out other diseases before a diagnosis of IBS can be made.
Key Point 2
While Irritable bowel syndrome can be both physically and emotionally disruptive on a person’s life, there are good treatments available. Once the symptoms are improved, most IBS patients find they can lead normal lives.
Conduct an off-site search for IBS from MedlinePlus. These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.
There are a very large number of organizations and websites dedicated to IBS. This is only a partial list.
Drossman Gastroenterology: Caring for and managing patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.
IBS Tales: If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or care about someone who does, this site is for you.
Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic's award-winning consumer website offers health information and self-improvement tools.
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC): An information dissemination service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.