Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is a common disorder of the intestines that affects nearly one out of five people in the United States. According to the book, Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body-Brain-Gut Connection by William B. Salt II, IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder. The symptoms include constipation, diarrhea or alternating bouts of both, bloating, abdominal pain and many other problems. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome usually begin during adolescence or early adulthood. Altered bowel movements occur over periods of days to weeks. Occasionally, symptoms may be continuous. In a given individual, both constipation and diarrhea can occur, or either can be the recurring symptom. The course of the disease varies from patient to patient, but individually, it can follow a consistent pattern. The diarrhea of irritable bowel syndrome is usually of small volume, but frequent. Episodes commonly occur during periods of stress. The initial morning movement may be normal, but followed by successively loose bowel movements throughout the rest of the day. Bowel movements may be associated with extreme urgency. The diarrhea rarely awakens patients from sleep and there is usually no associated fever or rectal bleeding. The abdominal pain of irritable bowel syndrome can vary in severity from mild to severe. It is usually felt in the lower abdomen, especially on the left side. The pain may be dull, sharp, crampy or continuous. It is commonly relieved by the passage of gas or by defecation *1*. Each year, 2.6 million people seek treatment for symptoms related to functional gastrointestinal disorders, and visits to physicians total 3.5 million (Salt xiv). The... ... middle of paper ... ... new approach to healing. http://www.americanwholehealth.com/search/search.dbm (12 April, 2000). "Couple Encourages Millions of IBS Sufferers to End Silence, Seek Help." Today's News. http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=…/0001125283&EDATE (17 March, 2000). Sobel, Rachel K. "The Wisdom of the Gut: Those butterflies in your stomach are not just in your mind." U.S. News Online. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/000403/gut.htm (3 April, 2000). Wild Oats: It's Only Natural. http://www.wildoats.com/home.html (February 22, 2000). "Answers to frequently asked questions by patients." Questions. http://www.foodallergy.org/patients.html (1 May, 2000). "MCS-IMMUNE-NEURO MCS/Chemical Injury Support." An Internet Resource Contributed By St. John's. http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/mcs-immune-neuro.html (1 May, 2000).
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