Irritable Bowel Syndrome :: IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition which causes the intestines (or bowels, or gut) to be over sensitive. This can cause a variety of abdominal and bowel symptoms. There is no cure, but most people can, with the help of their doctor, learn to control and live with their irritable bowel.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder; it’s not a disease like Crohn’s Disease where the small intestine is inflamed. IBS sufferers is do not suffer from inflamed intestines, although the symptoms of IBS and Crohn’s (and other digestive disorders) can be very similar.

IBS can only be described by its symptoms: persistent abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation, bloating, and possibly other symptoms but these are the main ones. A person is usually diagnosed with IBS if they have the above symptoms and no disease or other reason has been found for the disorder.

It’s important to realize that irritable bowel syndrome is only diagnosed after other disorders and diseases have been eliminated. So put simply, IBS is recurrent symptoms of diarrhea/constipation, abdominal pain, bloating where no ?real disease’ has been found.

Typical symptoms of IBS sufferers can be divided into two groups – primary and secondary.

Primary symptoms include:

Stomach/abdominal pain

Diarrhea and/or Constipation


Excessive gas

Secondary symptoms include:


Lower back pain

Shooting pains


Acid stomach



Groin pain

Stomach/abdominal pain: I’ve found via research and personal experience that there are two main sources of stomach/abdominal pain. The two sources are bowel spasm and increased digestive tract sensitivity or hypersensitivity.

Diarrhea: The diarrhea is caused by uncontrolled bowel spasm. When the bowel goes into spasm, stools are not properly formed and excess fluid is not absorbed leading to watery stools – diarrhea.

Constipation: There are number of possible causes of constipation including: altered digestive chemistry and intestinal flora, low fluid and fibre intake, loss of body salts, etc.

Bloating: Bloating can be caused by trapped gas in the stomach or bowels. The gas is caused by undigested or partly digested food being fermented by bacteria or fungal overgrowth. Another cause of bloating is bowel distention. If the bowel goes into spasm, it can ?stick out? giving the appearance or feeling of bloating.

Excessive gas: Excessive gas is caused by undigested or partly digested food being fermented in the large intestines.

There?s only a small number of ways the digestive system (DS) can signal there?s a problem. These ways, or symptoms to be more precise, include diarrhea, bloating, pain, constipation. So these symptoms are a sign that there is a problem. So persistent symptoms are a sign of a recurrent problem.

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