Abdominal Pain and Cramping? We Have Answers.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a disorder that is characteristic of abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms. It is sometimes referred to as spastic colon, spastic colitis or irritable colon. 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.
IBS can occur at any age, but it often begins in the teen years or early adulthood. It is twice as common in women as in men. About 1 in 6 people in the U.S. have symptoms of IBS. It is the most common intestinal problem that causes patients to be referred to a bowel specialist (gastroenterologist).
Symptoms range from mild to severe. Most people have mild symptoms. Symptoms are different from person to person. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating that have been present for at least 3 days a month for the last 3 months. The pain and other symptoms will often be reduced or go away after a bowel movement, or occur when there is a change in how often you have bowel movements. People with IBS may switch between constipation and diarrhea, or mostly have one or the other.
People with diarrhea will have frequent, loose, watery stools. They will often have an urgent need to have a bowel movement, which may be hard to control. Those with constipation will have a hard time passing stool, as well as fewer bowel movements. They will often need to strain and will feel cramps with a bowel movement. Often, they do not release any stool, or only a small amount.
For some people, the symptoms may get worse for a few weeks or a month, and then decrease for a while. For other people, symptoms are present most of the time. People with IBS may also lose their appetite.
Imagine……Living without constipation or frequent diarrhea.