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Hands on Stomach

IBS / Digestive Problems


What is IBS and what causes it?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - also known as spastic colon - is a syndrome or a collection of symptoms rather than a disease in itself. It is a functional disorder in which the digestive system does not function correctly leading to symptoms like abdominal pain, discomfort, cramping, gas, bloating constipation or diarrhoea.

IBS affects the large intestine or the colon and may be caused due to:

  • an infection

  • food sensitivity

  • medication

  • stress

  • a reaction to a traumatic life event

  • genetics

Although, there is no known cure for IBS, its symptoms can be controlled and relieved through medicines and complementary therapies.

Illnesses commonly misdiagnosed as IBS

Sometimes the symptoms of IBS can mimic another serious disorders and, without closer attention, a simple oversight can become a more significant health problem. If your symptoms manifest suddenly or inconsistently, be sure to talk to your doctor in case there are other possible diagnoses, such as:

  • Food allergy or intolerance

  • Coeliac disease

  • Colon cancer

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Endometriosis

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Gastrointestinal symptoms can point to another illness, or less commonly, another disorder occurring simultaneously. Not only is this a particularly unfair situation, but it can complicate diagnosis and treatment, especially if the possibility is ignored for a long time. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the chances of a separate illness alongside your IBS, just to eliminate other issues.

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