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Irritable Bowel Disease, IBS


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is altered bowel habits, abdominal pain, and gaseousness, in the absence of organic pathology. It can be divided into four types: Alternating diarrhea with constipation; Diarrhea predominant; Constipation predominant; and Upper abdominal bloating and discomfort.


The cause of IBS is unknown, although patients show some gut motility abnormalities with increased response to stress and stimulants, and an increase in the 3 cycles/minute smooth muscle contractions of the abdomen which accompany normal digestion.
Risk factors include: Other members of the family with the same or similar gastrointestinal disorder; History of childhood sexual abuse; and Sexual or domestic abuse in women.




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