What is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, known as IBS, is a medical disorder characterized by:
- Reoccurring or chronic bouts of abdominal pain or discomfort
- Abdominal pain or discomfort in association with altered bowel habits including diarrhea, constipation, or alternating episodes of both diarrhea and constipation
- Other symptoms may also occur such as bloating, gas, or stooling urgency
Facts About IBS:
- IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States.
- About 2 in 3 IBS sufferers are female.
- About 1 in 3 IBS sufferers are male.
- IBS affects people of all ages, including children.
- Approximately 10-15% of the world’s population has IBS.
What Causes IBS?
- IBS may result from a disturbance in the way the gut, brain, and nervous system interact. This can cause changes in normal bowel movement and sensation.
- Stress does not cause IBS. However, because of the connection between the brain and the gut, stress can worsen or trigger symptoms.
- An alteration in the number and/or the kind of bacteria in our intestines contributes to IBS symptoms in some people.
Key Messages about IBS:
- The impact of IBS can range from mild inconvenience to severe debilitation.
- IBS can control many aspects of a person’s emotional, social and professional life.
- Persons with moderate to severe IBS must struggle with symptoms that often impair their physical, emotional, economic, educational and social well-being.
Treatments are available for IBS to help manage symptoms.
Although IBS is common in the general population, few seek medical care for their symptoms. IBS can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Speak to you doctor if you think you have IBS.