Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Zipporah Cele
Keywords: irritable bowel syndrome, IBX

Abstract

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that a significant number of people suffer from daily, yet it still remains misunderstood and thus difficult to treat or manage. It is a common condition that affects patients physically, psychologically, socially and economically.1 Also sometimes referred to as spastic colon, IBS is defined as a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder.1,2 It is usually characterised by stomach cramps, abdominal pain and intermittent diarrhoea occurring over a period of at least 3 months.3,4 It is important to note that IBS is not a disease, but rather a functional disorder, meaning an abnormal function of the bowels, that results in a number of symptoms. Other symptoms include, bloating, gassiness or flatulence, and bowel habits that alternate between periods of diarrhoea (IBS-D) and constipation (IBS-C).1,2
Section
Gastrointestinal Tract