Want to know if you have IBS?
We asked the National Institutes of Health for more information.
We know: All about Irritable Bowel Syndrome
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that interferes with the normal functions of the large intestine (colon). It is characterized by a group of symptoms - crampy abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
How common is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
One in five Americans has IBS, making it one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors. It occurs more often in women than in men, and it usually begins around age 20.
What causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
What are the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
What treatment is available for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
No cure has been found for IBS, but many options are available to treat the symptoms. Your doctor will give you the best treatments available for your particular symptoms and encourage you to manage stress and make changes to your diet.
Medications are an important part of relieving symptoms. Your doctor may suggest fiber supplements or occasional laxatives for constipation, as well as medicines to decrease diarrhea, tranquilizers to calm you, or drugs that control colon muscle spasms to reduce abdominal pain. Antidepressants may also relieve some symptoms.
Medications available to treat IBS specifically are the following:
With any medication, even over-the-counter medications such as laxatives and fiber supplements, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions.