Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon) is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very prevalent and high incident disease. As the great majority of functional diseases, it is female predominant and leads to serious damage to the quality of life.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most studied and discussed problems in the field of gastroenterology, yet it often remains perplexing to both clinicians and patients. Some of the apprehension comes from a void of objective data that defines a diagnosis in most disorders.
Several theories have been postulated to explain the causality of IBS yet all have their limitations. Research has demonstrated high propagation waves in IBS- D patients and prolonged sigmoid and rectal contractility in IBS-C patients. Despite the demonstration that colon transit time may be altered in IBS no one has proven that dysmotility is constant.
Given the complex pathophysiology of IBS it comes as no surprise that numerous treatment regimens have been developed to control symptoms. Before embarking on pharmacotherapy the foundation for success lies in a sound physician-patient relationship. Many patients come to the clinic after years of testing and without a formal diagnosis. Providing a definitive diagnosis often reduces a patient's anxiety and ameliorates the intensity of their symptoms. Reassurance gives the patient peace of mind and is a proven tool in the management of IBS.