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Irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) is a common disorder that may affect over 15 percent of the general population. It is sometimes referred to as spastic colon, spastic colitis, mucous colitis or nervous stomach. IBS should not be confused with other diseases of the bowel such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. IBS is a functional disorder where the function of the bowels may be abnormal but no structural abnormalities exist.
Pain and discomfort may occur in different parts of the abdomen.
Bloating and swelling of abdomen may develop from time to time.
Stools (sometimes called motions or faeces) : Some people have bouts of diarrhoea, and some have bouts of constipation. Some people have bouts of diarrhoea that alternate with bouts of constipation. Sometimes the stools become small and pellet-like. Sometimes the stools become watery or ribbony. At times, mucus may be mixed with the stools.
Some people have urgency, which means you have to get to the toilet quickly. A morning rush is common. That is, you feel an urgent need to go to the toilet several times shortly after getting up. This is often during and after breakfast.
Other symptoms sometimes occur and include: nausea (feeling sick), headache, belching, poor appetite, tiredness, backache, muscle pains, feeling quickly full after eating, heartburn, and bladder symptoms (an associated irritable bladder).
Some people have occasional mild symptoms. Others have unpleasant symptoms for long periods. Many people fall somewhere in between, with flare-ups of symptoms from time to time. Some doctors group people with IBS into one of three categories. Those with abdominal pain or discomfort, and the other symptoms are mainly bloating and constipation.
Those with abdominal pain or discomfort, and the other symptoms are mainly urgency to get to the toilet, and diarrhoea.
Treatments and drugs:
Because it's not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms so that patents can live as normally as possible. In most cases, it can successfully control mild signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by learning to manage stress and making changes in diet and lifestyle. Try to avoid foods that trigger symptoms. Also try to get enough exercise, drink plenty of fluids and get enough sleep.
Fiber supplements. Taking fiber supplements, such as psyllium (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel), with fluids may help control constipation. Fiber obtained from food may cause much more bloating compared with a fiber supplement. If fiber doesn't help symptoms, doctor may prescribe an osmotic laxative such as milk of magnesia or polyethylene glycol. Anti-diarrheal medications. Over-the-counter medications, such as loperamide (Imodium), can help control diarrhea. Some people will benefit from medications called bile acid binders, such as cholestyramine (Prevalite), colestipol (Colestid) or colesevelam (Welchol), but these can lead to bloating.
Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications. These medications, such as hyoscyamine (Levsin) and dicyclomine (Bentyl), can help relieve painful bowel spasms. They are sometimes used for people who have bouts of diarrhea, but they can worsen constipation and can lead to other symptoms, such as difficulty urinating. They should also be used with caution among people with glaucoma.
Antidepressant medications imipramine (Tofranil) or nortriptyline (Pamelor). SSRIs, such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) or paroxetine (Paxil), may be helpful if people depressed and have pain and constipation.
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