Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon) is a diagnosis of exclusion. It is a functional bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits in the absence of any detectable organic cause. In some cases, the symptoms are relieved by bowel movements. Diarrhea or constipation may predominate, or they may alternate (classified as IBS-D, IBS-C or IBS-A, respectively). IBS may begin after an infection (post-infectious, IBS-PI), a stressful life event, or onset of maturity without any other medical indicators. The primary symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort in association with frequent diarrhea or constipation, a change in bowel habits. There may also be urgency for bowel movements, a feeling of incomplete evacuation (tenesmus), bloating or abdominal distention. People with IBS, more commonly than others, have gastroesophageal reflux, symptoms relating to the genitourinary system, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, backache and psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Some studies indicate that up to 60% of persons with IBS also have a psychological disorder, typically anxiety or depression. The cause of IBS is unknown, but several hypotheses have been proposed. The risk of developing IBS increases sixfold after acute gastrointestinal infection. Post-infection, further risk factors are young age, prolonged fever, anxiety, and depression. Publications suggesting the role of brain-gut "axis" appeared in the 1990s, such as a study entitled Brain-gut response to stress and cholinergic stimulation in IBS published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in 1993. A 1997 study published in Gut magazine suggested that IBS was associated with a "derailing of the brain-gut axis." Psychological factors may be important in the etiology of IBS. There is no specific laboratory or imaging test that can be performed to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. Diagnosis of IBS involves excluding conditions that produce IBS-like symptoms, and then following a procedure to categorize the patient's symptoms. Ruling out parasitic infections, lactose intolerance, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and celiac disease is recommended for all patients before a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is made. In patients over 50 years old it is recommended that they undergo a screening colonoscopy.
Photo from Featured Project near Mucus Colitis
About Colon Health
<p>The colon, or large intestine, is an important part of the digestive system. It has been referred to as the sewer system of the body. Some five feet in length and 2.5 inches in diameter, situated at the end of the alimentary canal.<br><br>It is the place where we store the waste material that most of us would rather not think about and most of us don't, until our health becomes poor or we feel bloated, constipated, or have diarrhoea. 80% of all disease and discomfort is related to an unclean colon - due to impacted faecal matter. It may be said that almost every chronic disease known, is directly or indirectly due to the influence of bacterial poisons absorbed from the intestine.</p><h4>A healthty colon equals a healthy you</h4><p>If we neglect and abuse our colon, it becomes a cesspool, and if we don't get rid of the toxins, they just keep building up and are reabsorbed into the blood creating autointoxication or self-poisoning.This results in a dramatically weakened immune system, poisons the digestive organs, so that we become distressed and bloated, and poisons the blood. The skin becomes unhealthy. In short, every organ of the body is poisoned and we age prematurely, looking and feeling old. The joints become stiff and painful, the eyes become dull, sluggish brain, and in the end leads to debilitating health problems, including colon cancer. The five foot long tube we call the colon, or large intestine, determines whether or not the body is polluted.</p><p></p>