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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Pain

by Dennie Ho
  • Overview

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a painful gastrointestinal disorder with symptoms that include constipation, diarrhea, gas, cramps, and intestinal distension or bloating. The discomfort associated with these symptoms has been described by some as feeling like "giving birth" or "intestinal twisting and wrenching." The following list offers some of the important facts regarding IBS pain.
  • Significance

    Symptomatic pain is a significant part of the procedure for diagnosing IBS as there are no specific tests (imaging or laboratory) that can do so.
  • Time Frame

    Over time most people inflicted with IBS report that the symptoms and the pain improve, most likely due to their learned ability to control IBS conditions.
  • Risk Factors

    For the most part, the syndrome affects women under the age of 35.
  • Misconceptions

    Severe symptoms and pain are not common for people with IBS; only a small percentage suffer from severe symptomatic conditions.
  • Warning

    More serious conditions may develop from IBS, such as colon cancer, and can be identified early if persistent pain or a change in bowel habits occurs. If so, it must be reported to a doctor immediately.
  • Potential

    IBS has the potential of being a chronic, life-long condition. However, the pain and symptoms can be relieved by available medications and treatments.
  • Benefits

    The FDA approved a medicinal agent in 2000 reported to treat some of the symptoms of IBS in women. Known as Lotronex (alosetron hydrochloride), the drug effectively relieves IBS pain and discomfort, while also reducing the exigency to defecate (see Resources).

    References & Resources