Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in the absence of an identifiable organic cause. It is considered to be a functional disorder because there is no known cause or biological marker associated with the syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common complaint that places a high burden on primary caregivers. It is more common in women than in men, and occurs primarily in younger rather than in older patients.The prevalence of IBS in North America is estimated to range from 10%–15%. The condition waxes and wanes; thus, the lifetime prevalence is much higher than the annual prevalence.
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms.
IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In IBS, the structure of the bowel is not abnormal.
Stress and the Gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options.
Stress, which is defined as an acute threat to homeostasis, shows both short- and long-term effects on the functions of the gastrointestinal tract. Exposure to stress results in alterations of the brain-gut interactions ("brain-gut axis") ultimately leading to the development of a broad array of gastrointestinal disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gastrointestinal diseases, food antigen-related adverse responses, peptic ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Benefits from long-term treatment in irritable bowel syndrome
It is known that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease of cyclic nature characterized by recurrent symptoms. IBS patients should receive, as initial therapeutic approach a short course of treatment which, if effective, has the additional value of confirming the diagnosis. Long-term treatment should be reserved to diagnosed IBS patients with recurrent symptoms. Clinical trials with stabilized therapies and new active treatments showed an improvement of the symptoms over placebo that is often time-dependent but with high relapse rates (around 40%-50% when stopping treatment). Relapse is not always immediate after stopping treatment and the recent data from OBIS trial with otilonium bromide or with psychotherapy, showed that due to different chemico-physical characteristics of the drugs or the psychosomatic impact to the disease not all treatment gave the same relapsing rate if compared to placebo. Results of IBS clinical trials with different therapies tailored to the patient needs indicate that a cyclic treatment therapy is advisable to counteract the nature of the disease.
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What Patients Need to Know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the intestine, causing abdominal pain with constipation, diarrhea, or alternating periods of both. IBS is also known as spastic colon or spastic bowel (terms that have fallen out of favour now) and functional bowel disorder. It's sometimes mistaken for colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that is actually a more serious condition involving damage to the colon. IBS doesn't do any damage and there isn't any infection or other cause of disease.
IBS affects about 20% of the population and is second only to the common cold as the most frequent cause of days lost to work and school. IBS symptoms can disappear for periods of time and then return.
Unlike inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), IBS brings no extra risk of cancer of the colon. However, if symptoms of IBS begin in people over age 50, it's best to rule out polyps and colon cancer by having a direct inspection of the lower bowel done by a doctor.
What Patients Need to Know about Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome