Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a group of symptoms that occur together, including abdominal pain or discomfort and changes in bowel movement patterns. Dr. Jerman, can you tell us more about IBS?
Of course, Dr. Mansfield. IBS is a functional gastrointestinal, or GI, disorder, where the GI tract behaves in an abnormal way without evidence of damage due to an organic disease. IBS has particular diagnostic criteria, and cannot be diagnosed unless other organic disease has been ruled out.
In order to be diagnosed with IBS, a person must have recurrent abdominal pain, on average, at least one day a week in the last three months. In addition, the pain must be related to bowel movements and associated with a change in frequency or appearance of stool.
IBS is classified based on patterns of stool consistency. There are four types of IBS, including:
- IBS with constipation, or IBS-C
- IBS with diarrhea, or IBS-D
- Mixed IBS, or IBS-M, and
- Unsubtyped IBS, or IBS-U
People with IBS more commonly suffer from other digestive conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and indigestion. In addition, people with IBS often suffer from other non-digestive conditions, including:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Anxiety, and
- Somatoform disorders, which are psychological disorders in which physical symptoms are inconsistent with or cannot be fully explained by any underlying condition