cramping, bloating, gas, frequent urge to
pass stools, sensation of incomplete evacuation etc. BS is the disorder
of function, which means that the bowel doesn't work, as it should. If
one visualizes the bowel, it appears perfectly normal without any
inflammation or other structural changes. In people with IBS, the
intestines squeeze too hard or not hard enough and cause food to move
too quickly or too slowly through the intestines.
Through the years, IBS has been called by many names--colitis, mucous
colitis, spastic colon, spastic bowel, and functional bowel disease,
irritable colon, and nervous colon. Most of these terms are inaccurate
and refers to understanding of diseases at that particular time frame.
Colitis, for instance, means inflammation of the large intestine
(colon). IBS, however, does not cause inflammation of the bowel and
should not be confused with another disorders like ulcerative colitis.
IBS is very common condition across the globe and it is
estimated that around 20% of people suffer from this
condition some time during their life time. Over 40 million
Americans and one third of the UK population suffer from IBS
sometime in life. It is the single most common reason for
which people seek gastroenterologists opinion. The
statistics state that people miss work for IBS and related
disorders more than for anything else, except colds.
IBS though affect people of all ages and both the sexes; it
is more common in young people; usually in late adolescence
or early adulthood. The condition is almost two to three
times common in females as compared to males.
Nature of condition
Almost everything about IBS is totally dependent on the
individual patient. For some, IBS may arise during times of
stress or crisis, and then subside once the stressful event
has passed. For others, IBS strikes seemingly randomly and
without warning and never completely goes away. The duration
of IBS is different for everybody. The symptoms may wax and
wane, being particularly severe at some times and absent at
Effect on lifestyle
IBS can be nothing more than a mild annoyance, completely
debilitating, or anywhere in between. Again, it depends on
the person and how he or she reacts to it and treats it. IBS
can, however, be very painful and can severely affect a
person's quality of life, and is second only to the common
cold as a cause of absenteeism from work.
IBS and Stress
The key point is that IBS is strongly related to emotional
stress and strain. Research on the psychosocial aspects of
these disorders has yielded three general observations:
1. Psychological stress exacerbates gastrointestinal
2. Psychological disturbances amplify illness experience and
adversely affect health status.
3. Having a functional GI disorder like IBS impairs the
quality of ones life.
Interestingly, even though the symptoms of IBS can be very
painful and debilitating in some, it should be emphasized
that this is never a life-threatening condition. Those
afflicted with IBS do not have any greater chances of
developing inflammatory conditions of bowel like Crohns
disease or ulcerative colitis, neither do they pose any
higher risk of having colon cancer. Moreover this disease
cannot be passed to other individuals like some of the
infections may have chance to do so.
Last but not the least is that with revolutionary mode of
treatment of Homoeopathy, IBS can be brought under control
effectively, gently and safely.