Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Types, Causes, Symptoms and Risk Ractors


What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a group of symptoms in which abdominal pain is associated with defecation or change in bowel habit. It is also known as mucous colitis, spastic colon, IBS colitis, nervous colon, spastic bowel. Irritable bowel syndrome affects more women than men.

What are the various types of IBS?

IBS is divided into 4 types which are as follows:-

IBS-C Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.
IBS-D Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea.
IBS-M Irritable bowel syndrome with alternating
Constipation and diarrhoea (mixed).
IBS-U Irritable bowel syndrome unsubtyped.

What are the causes of IBS?

IBS Irritable bowel syndrome has a wide range of symptoms and a single cause is unlikely.

However, several things are known to trigger IBS such as:-

  1. Sensitive colon or a sensitive immune system.
  2. Stress – stress affects the nerves and makes the digestive system more active or overactive.
  3. Food allergies also trigger IBS such as allergy to dairy, wheat allergy.
  4. Hormonal changes especially in women triggers IBS.

What are the signs and symptoms of IBS?

The most common signs and symptoms of IBS are as follow:-

  1. Altered bowel habit.
  2. Colicky abdominal pain, cramping in nature relieved by passing stool.
  3. Abdominal distension or bloating which worsens throughout the day.
  4. Rectal mucous, there is mucous present with the stool.
  5. Feeling of incomplete defecation.
  6. Anxiety.

What are the risk factors of IBS?

You are at risk of IBS if :-

  1. You are young and in the age group of 15-40 years.
  2. There is any kind of mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress.
  3. There is family history of IBS, genes do play a role in this syndrome.
  4. You are a female as females are more prone to this condition. Estrogen therapy before or after menopause is also a risk factor for IBS.

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