Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common intestinal muscle functioning disorder involving constipation, diarrhea, or a combination, accompanied by pain, bloating and cramps, that affects up to 30 percent of Americans at some point during their lives.

To diagnose, a flexible sigmoidoscopic examination or colonoscopy , a hemmocult test to detect hidden blood in the stool, an x-ray of the lower intestines and/or a psychological evaluation are used to rule out other diseases or conditions, such as cancer, diverticulitis, inflammation of the intestines, or depression.

Because the symptoms of IBS so closely resemble those of other, sometimes life-threatening diseases, such as colon cancer, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, it is imperative to seek medical attention so that these disorders may be ruled out.

In some IBS patients, mental health counseling and stress reduction can help relieve symptoms.

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