Digestive System Disorders

Expert reports about Digestive System Disorders


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of gastrointestinal function. It can result from a variety of abnormalities that are generally minor, as they are not connected with any anatomic problems, inflammation, or other disease process, such as infection or cancer. Such abnormalities include intolerance to certain types of carbohydrates, often due to a deficiency of the enzymes needed to break down the particular substance. The abnormalities also include anxiety and similar behavioral disorders that make nervousness a trigger for an IBS attack. In all cases, IBS is characterized by abdominal pain and altered, or unpredictable bowel habits, including diarrhea and constipation. In the past, the condition often was called a spastic colon, but this term has mostly been replaced by IBS. It is important not to confuse IBS with IBD, which stands for inflammatory bowel disease.


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