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Irritable bowel syndrome is a body dysfunction that is characterized by problems with the excretion of solid body wastes. Although not much people actually know that such a condition exists, it is nevertheless quite common, affecting one out of five Americans, placing it as one of the most common problems diagnosed by the doctor.
There is actually no gender or age factor involved with irritable bowel syndrome. Everybody can be afflicted. Still, statistics show that there are more women who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome compared to men. Most people diagnosed have also traced their symptoms back to when they were not yet twenty years old.
If you are under the impression that constipation and diarrhea are the main symptoms, you are wrong. Because there are a lot of body problems that may result in constipation and diarrhea, medical experts placed these two as secondary symptoms. What the doctor must have in order to make a diagnosis is the occurrence of abdominal pain. There may also be bloating especially if the person has not been able to excrete waste materials for a long time.
What makes it harder to detect is the fact that symptoms for most people are not so severe. Most in fact do not even know that they have irritable bowel syndrome. This is why little is known about this problem despite its prevalence. Most people who do experience the symptoms, they are quick to dismiss them as mere food poisoning. They don’t know the constipation and pain that they feel is an entirely different matter.
Causes of irritable bowel syndrome
Until now, there is still no clear answer what exactly causes irritable bowel syndrome. Medical experts are still stumped as to why such a condition occurs. Unlike some diseases and other medical condition, which is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, irritable bowel syndrome is not caused by one culprit.
Research on the problem has mentioned a large intestine, the part of the digestive system that regulates the passage of the body wastes, that is awfully sensitive. It seems that the large intestines of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome is more easily reactive to stimulation, which in turn can affect the bowel movement.
Stress is often attributed with irritable bowel syndrome. There are also studies that suggest the role of some food items that may trigger the problem.