Irritable bowel syndrome
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you’ll need to manage long term.
Only a small number of people with IBS have severe signs and symptoms. Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle and stress. More-severe symptoms can be treated with medication and counseling.
IBS doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
The signs and symptoms of IBS vary. The most common include:
Most people with IBS experience times when the signs and symptoms are worse and times when they improve or even disappear completely.
See your doctor if you have a persistent change in bowel habits or other signs or symptoms of IBS. They may indicate a more serious condition, such as colon cancer. More-serious signs and symptoms include:
The precise cause of IBS isn’t known. Factors that appear to play a role include:
Symptoms of IBS can be triggered by:
Many people have occasional signs and symptoms of IBS. But you’re more likely to have the syndrome if you:
Chronic constipation or diarrhea can cause hemorrhoids.
In addition, IBS is associated with:
Finding ways to deal with stress may help prevent or ease symptoms of IBS. Consider trying:
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Irritable bowel syndrome
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