Patient education: Irritable bowel syndrome
What is irritable bowel syndrome? – Irritable bowel syndrome, or “IBS,” is a condition that causes belly pain and problems with bowel movements. Some people with the condition have frequent, watery bowel movements (diarrhea). Others do not have enough bowel movements (constipation). Some patients switch back and forth between diarrhea and constipation.
The traditional focus has been on alterations in gastrointestinal motility and on visceral hypersensitivity. More recent studies have considered the role of inflammation, alterations in fecal flora, and bacterial overgrowth. Also being considered is the role of food sensitivity. Whether a genetic predisposition exists is also being investigated. Psychosocial factors may influence the expression of irritable bowel syndrome.
What are the symptoms of IBS? – Symptoms include:
●Stomach pain and cramps, related to a bowel movement
●Diarrhea or constipation (some people switch back and forth between diarrhea and constipation)
Is there a test for IBS? – No, there is no specific test. But your doctor or nurse can figure out if you have IBS by asking you a few questions, and by running tests to make sure you do not have something other than IBS. Lots of medical conditions can cause the same symptoms as IBS. So it is important that your doctor or nurse checks the other possibilities.
Bacteriophage Therapy in IBS – A bacteriophage is a type of virus that infects bacteria. In fact, the word “bacteriophage” literally means “bacteria eater”. Phage therapy can be very effective in certain conditions and has some unique advantages over antibiotics. It can be used in patients with IBS, who develop bacterial overgrowth due to motility disorders.
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