Irritable bowel syndrome is a type of gastrointestinal disorder with symptoms like gassiness, cramping, abdominal pain, bloating and irregular bowel movement. Other names for this chronic disorder are functional bowel disease, spastic colon and mucous colitis, though there are differing opinion son whether irritable bowel syndrome is actually a true 'colitis' or not.
Irritable bowel syndrome is not a major health threat because it is not genetic, cancerous or contagious; but it causes plenty of discomfort and can cause major disruption to daily schedules. Though its real cause has still not been ascertained, it is believed that irritable bowel syndrome can occurs when there is some kind of an unusual movement in the colon or the gastrointestinal tract, or a breakdown in the normal communication between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.
Gastroenteritis and food allergies too have been held responsible for causing irritable bowel syndrome in many people. The symptoms of this condition are believed to be felt even more when the person is going through a lot of stress and in case of a woman, if she is menstruating.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are generally different in each person; while one may show all the symptoms, another may experience only one or two. Though the main symptom of this disorder is severe pain in the abdomen, there are a few other symptoms too, like stomach cramping that goes away after bowel moment, flatulence, abdominal distension, the passing of mucus from the rectum, diarrhea, constipation and overall feeling of bloating.
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