Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that interferes with the normal functions of your large and small intestines. IBS causes crampy abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Other common symptoms may include bloating, passing mucus in the stools, or the feeling that you have not completely emptied your bowels.

Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors. It occurs more often in women than in men, and it often begins around age 20. Irritable bowel syndrome may cause a great deal of discomfort and distress, but the condition does not permanently harm the intestines and does not lead to intestinal bleeding or to any serious disease such as cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
recommended reading
These articles provide in-depth information and are written to help you make the best healthcare decisions for you and your loved ones.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome

decision points
When dealing with an illness or health problem, you have to make decisions—when to call a doctor, which test to have, and what treatment to use. Decision Points are designed to help you learn about your choices and options, and to prepare you to work with your healthcare provider to make the best decision for your care.
Making the Decision About Testing for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

action sets
Action Sets are designed to help you take an active role in managing a health condition. Action Sets provide the tools and information you can use in the day-to-day management of your health conditions.
Controlling Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diet
tests & procedures

You doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to evaluate your condition.

Abdominal Ultrasound
Barium Enema
Colonoscopy
Medical History and Physical Exam for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Sedimentation Rate
Sigmoidoscopy
Stool Analysis
Upper Gastrointestinal Series

For other tests and diagnostic procedures use the section of this site called Medical Tests A to Z .

RELATED TOPICS
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Depression
Depression in Childhood and Adolescence
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Healthy Eating
Mental Health Problems and Mind-Body Wellness
Panic Disorder
Smoking Cessation
Stress Management
medication center
medication assistance

This section provides you with an alphabetical listing of more than 1,000 medications, including prescription drugs and those you can purchase over-the-counter. Just "click on" your medications to learn what they are used for, how to take them, special precautions, and some of the possible side effects. You can choose your medication by brand name or generic name.

Medications A-Z

If you are having difficulty paying for your medications you may qualify for financial assistance or free medications. Visit the Medication Assistance Center to learn about available medication and insurance programs.

Don't let financial problems stop you from getting the treatment you need; there are resources and organizations that may be able to help you.

additional resources

This listing provides you with Internet sites that are sponsored by government agencies or are well-known and credible national organizations.

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome
American College of Gastroenterology
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self Help Group
MEDLINEplus—Irritable Bowel Syndrome
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

Surfing the Internet
When looking at Internet sites, remember that the information can be sponsored by anyone. Take into account the sponsoring group or individual when gathering information or help. Be especially careful about giving out personal or financial information.

Learn more about surfing the web:

INFORMACIÓN EN ESPAÑOL
Diarrea - [Diarrhea]
Dolor en el abdomen (barriga) - [Abdominal Pain]
Estreñimiento - [Constipation]
Síndrome del intestino irritable - [Irritable Bowel Syndrome]

Last modified on: 30 June 2015

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