What is the cause of irritable bowel syndrome (‘sensitive gut’ or ‘spastic colon’ or ‘nervous colon) ?
Exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not known but it has been associated with altered bowel motility, hypersensitivity (increased awareness of gut contractions and movement), psychological factors, neurotransmitter imbalance, and infection or inflammation of the gut.
What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
Patients with IBS can get abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea or constipation or a combination of these symptoms. Rectal bleeding is not part of IBS.
Rome II diagnostic criteria for irritable bowel syndrome
At least 12 weeks, which need not be consecutive, in the preceding 12 months of abdominal discomfort or pain that has two out of the following 3 features;
Relieved with defecation;
Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool;
Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool
What can I do about it?
There is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome but there are certain things you can do.
Health education for better understanding and learning about the problem to help yourself.
Awareness of the food you take when your symptoms occur. With that you can slowly avoid the ‘triggering’ foods.
Stress can trigger off symptoms, so relaxation techniques, meditation, adequate sleep, psychotherapy and exercises can help.
Medication to help decrease the symptoms.