Health A-Z: Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that causes a variety of symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation, bloating, gassiness, cramping. The severity of the disorder varies from person to person. Some people experience symptoms that come and go and are just mildly annoying. Others have such severe daily bowel problems that IBS affects their ability to work, sleep and enjoy life.


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Irritable bowel syndrome - Health A-Z

Another common intestinal disorder with a range of unpleasant symptoms is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS affects millions of people, but its cause is unclear, and treatment is often a trial-and-error process that may or may not be successful.… Read More

Spotting the Triggers in IBS - Health Awareness

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that causes a variety of symptoms. Learning which foods or eating styles trigger your symptoms, and then avoiding them, can decrease your symptoms markedly. It can take a while to discover… Read More

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What Is It? Colonoscopy is an examination of your complete colon, or large intestine. Colonoscopy is similar to another type of exam called sigmoidoscopy, which looks at only the last part of the colon. To perform colonoscopy, your… Read More

Constipation and Impaction - Health A-Z

What Is It?Normally, people have bowel movements at fairly regular intervals, and stool passes out of the body easily without much straining or discomfort. Although the normal frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person, about 95% of… Read More

Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea - Health A-Z

What Is It?In healthy people, many different species of bacteria live inside the bowel. Many are harmless or even helpful to the body, but a few have the potential to be aggressive troublemakers. Under normal circumstances, the "bad" bacteria… Read More

Bowel Obstruction - Health A-Z

What Is It?In a bowel obstruction (intestinal obstruction), a blockage prevents the contents of the intestines from passing normally through the digestive tract. The problem causing the blockage can be inside or outside the intestine. Inside the intestine, a… Read More
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    The Patient Education Center provides multimedia access to reliable and relevant medical information at and beyond the point of care. Our content is developed exclusively by Harvard Health Publications, the media and publishing division of the Harvard Medical School of Harvard University, and distributed by Health Media Network.