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Irritable bowel


A common ailment suffered by many that affects the bowels and the intestines. Its effects are usually mild and embarrassing.


There is no exact known cause for irritable bowel syndrome. The walls of the intestines are naturally lined with layers of muscle. During digestion these muscles contract and relax and this moves the food from the stomach to the rectum passing through the intestines. Normally the contracting and relaxing of these muscles happen in a coordinated rhythm. For someone who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome the food passes either too fast or too slow. When food moves much too fast, its causes gas, bloating and diarrhea. When the opposite happens and food passes through the intestines much slower, then the stools become hard and dry.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome varies widely from person to person and could be similar to symptoms of other diseases. The most common are:

• Abdominal pain or cramping
• Bloated feeling
• Gas
• Gas or constipation – sometimes both alternating
• Mucus in stool

Most symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are mild. If you however have symptoms that don’t respond well to medical treatment it is best to see a doctor as these symptoms can also be associated with other disease. Proper management of diet, lifestyle and stress could control the situation.

When to seek medical advice

If your symptoms persist or continually refuses to respond to treatment then you should see a doctor as these symptoms could be an indication of a more severe illness such as colon cancer. The doctors should be able to help you relieve the symptoms or confirm or rule out more severe colon conditions.


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