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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Also called: IBS, Irritable colon

Summary

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Others go back and forth between the two. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines.

IBS is common. It affects about twice as many women as men and is most often found in people younger than 45 years. No one knows the exact cause of IBS. There is no specific test for it. Your doctor may run tests to be sure you don't have other diseases. These tests may include stool sampling tests, blood tests, and x-rays. Your doctor may also do a test called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Most people diagnosed with IBS can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, probiotics, and medicine.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Symptoms

  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Diagnosis and Tests

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (Food and Drug Administration) Also in
  • Video (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Living With

  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)

Related Issues

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Specifics

  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders) - PDF

Health Check Tools

  • (American College of Gastroenterology) - PDF

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (American College of Gastroenterology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation)

Women

  • (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders)

Patient Handouts

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