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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Definition

December 22, 2013

Irritable Bowel Syndrome often referred to as merely IBS is classified as a bowel issue that suggests dysfunction in the digestive system. This dysfunction or dysfunctions can be related to the susceptibility of irritation of nerves residing in the intestines; the manner the brain controls the function of the digestive system; and how intestines move or function.

No specific tests have been created to diagnose IBS.  Doctors diagnose IBS by performing other tests to exclude other disorders or diseases that have similar symptoms as IBS. After it has been verified that no other conditions can possibly cause the symptoms, the doctor will then apply Rome II protocols to look for symptoms that will definitely show the presence of irritable bowel syndrome.

Studies done regarding IBS have indicated that a person suffering from irritable bowel syndrome always shows an abnormal gastrocolic reflex response. From what has been observed the symptoms of IBS appears to be caused by a communication problem between brain signals that controls certain digestive functions and the gut or the intestines and the manner in which the bowel system functions.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome makes people feel that their stomach is “tied in knots” which is accompanied by bouts of stomach cramps, diarrhea and constipation. Things that can trigger these symptoms can include hormone fluctuations, stress, dietary supplements, medications, exercise and certain foods.

In the United States about 15% of adults may experience IBS at some point in their lives. There are still no known cures for IBS and treatments always involve the alleviation of symptoms. The modes of treatment can consist of anti-diarrhea drugs to address diarrhea, antispasmodics and high fiber foods and supplements.

Ivelisse DeJongh is a Miami acupuncturist and the medical director at DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic.