Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

CBT can provide better long-term relief for IBS symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder affecting 10-20 per cent of people. Abdominal pain, bloating and altered bowel habit significantly affect patients' quality of life and can force them to ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Patent-pending probiotic could disrupt Crohn's disease biofilms

Probiotics typically aim to rebalance bacteria populations in the gut, but new research suggests they may also help break apart stubborn biofilms. Biofilms are living microbial communities—they provide a haven for microbes ...

Medical research

Health Check: What causes bloating and gassiness?

Your trousers fit when you put them on in the morning. But come mid-afternoon, they're uncomfortably tight – and you didn't even overdo it at lunchtime. Sound familiar?

Medications

'Inactive' ingredients may not be, study finds

Most pills and capsules, whether over-the-counter or prescription, include components other than the actual drug. These compounds, known as "inactive ingredients," help to stabilize the drug or aid in its absorption, and ...

Cancer

Colon cancer usually diagnosed late in under-50 adults

(HealthDay)—Young adults are increasingly developing colon cancer—and it's often diagnosed at a late stage, after they've seen several doctors and been misdiagnosed, a new survey shows.

Health

Diet could help runners beat stomach issues

Research indicates that cutting out specific foods can alleviate the gastrointestinal issues some people experience when they exercise, with over two-thirds of people involved in a new study reporting an improvement.

Health

Who's stronger? An immunological battle of the sexes

Is there anything more exciting than a battle of the sexes? In popular culture, this usually focuses on societal gender roles. But, there's another battle of the sexes, a biological war waged by the body's immune system. ...

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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.

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