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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movement, and other symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms range from mild to severe. The major symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Loose, watery stools
  • Hard time passing stool
  • Loss of appetite


There is no known cause of IBS. It is believed to be the result of an infection of the intestines.


The objective of treatment is to relieve symptoms. Lifestyle changes can be helpful in some cases of IBS. For example, regular exercise and improved sleep habits may reduce anxiety and help relieve bowel symptoms.

Your doctor may prescribe anticholinergic medicines to control intestinal muscle spasms. Dietary changes can be helpful such as avoiding large meals, avoiding foods and drinks that stimulate the intestines, and increasing fiber in diet.