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What causes Irritable Bowel & Bloating? What can I do ?
Last edited on 15 Aug 2016 01:06
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional intestinal disorder characterised by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits not due to any organs cause (like cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, infection). The ROME II criteria for IBS describes patients having recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort of at least 3 days a month for the previous 3 months associated with 2 or more of the following:

i. Relief after bowel movements
ii. Associated with a change in stool frequency
iii. Associated with a change in stool form or appearance
iv. Abdominal bloating

This is syndrome for which the cause is not clear and treatment is directed to symptom relief. Some measures that may be helpful include:

a. Fibre supplementation
b. Increase water intake
c. Caffeine avoidance
d. Legume avoidance (beans) - to prevent gas distention
e. Lactose, fructose and other saccharide avoidance
f. Probiotics are helpful
g. Antidepressants
h. other drugs - buscopan, pro kinetics, antispasmodics

Essentially other disorders of the colon should be excluded before this diagnosis is made as cancer and bowel inflammation can mimic these symptoms.
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