What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS), is a puzzling digestive disorder in that there are no physical signs of disease in the bowel tissue. This makes it difficult to determine the causes of the disease even though the symptoms are many & varied. They include alternating constipation/diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, bloating & intolerance to certain foods.

People with IBS often have difficulty eating because digestion evokes adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, headaches & pain. This in itself can result in malnutrition. Further complicating matters is the fact that nutrients are not properly absorbed & those that are can quickly be depleted by diarrhea.

Some scientists believe that a virus or bacterium may play a role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Others feel that a stressful lifestyle contributes to the condition as well as the overuse of antibiotics or laxatives. This may explain why IBS is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians with one out of every five adults having symtoms.