Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Allergan, Pfizer call off proposed $160B merger

Top U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Irish rival Allergan are charting independent futures after scrapping a record $160 billion deal torpedoed by new Treasury Department rules meant to block American companies from moving their ...

Apr 06, 2016
popularity1 comments 0

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon) is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. As a functional bowel disorder, IBS has no known organic cause. Diarrhea or constipation may predominate, or they may alternate (classified as IBS-D, IBS-C or IBS-A, respectively). Historically a diagnosis of exclusion, a diagnosis of IBS can now be made on the basis of symptoms alone, in the absence of alarm features such as age of onset greater than 50 years, weight loss, gross hematochezia, systemic signs of infection or colitis, or family history of inflammatory bowel disease. Onset of IBS is more likely to occur after an infection (post-infectious, IBS-PI), a stressful life event, or onset of maturity.

Although there is no cure for IBS, there are treatments that attempt to relieve symptoms, including dietary adjustments, medication and psychological interventions. Patient education and a good doctor-patient relationship are also important.

Several conditions may present as IBS including coeliac disease, fructose malabsorption, mild infections, parasitic infections like giardiasis, several inflammatory bowel diseases, bile acid malabsorption, functional chronic constipation, and chronic functional abdominal pain. In IBS, routine clinical tests yield no abnormalities, although the bowels may be more sensitive to certain stimuli, such as balloon insufflation testing. The exact cause of IBS is unknown. The most common theory is that IBS is a disorder of the interaction between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, although there may also be abnormalities in the gut flora or the immune system.

IBS has no effect on life expectancy. However, it is a source of chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms and contributes to work absenteeism. The high prevalence of IBS and significant effects on quality of life make IBS a disease with a high social cost.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Researchers find alternative pathways to HIV antibodies

The immune system appears to hamper an investigational vaccine from inducing antibodies that protect against HIV infection, but there may be ways to overcome this impediment, according to research led by the Duke Human Vaccine ...

Fast and slow—learning how the brain controls movement

What if you couldn't move faster even when you wanted to? Researchers thought that the part of the brain that determines how fast we perform voluntary movements, such as walking across a room or playing a melody on the piano, ...

Aggregated protein in nerve cells can cause ALS

Persons with the serious disorder ALS, can have a genetic mutation that causes the protein SOD1 to aggregate in motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Researchers at Umeå University have discovered that, when injected ...

Why we steer the way we do

The way we drive could help us understand how animals make their way, new research from the University of Leeds has found.