Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Symptoms of IBS vary per case but can include some combination of the following
- Chronic abdominal pain and discomfort
- Frequent loose watery stools (diarrhea)
- Infrequent hard to pass stools (constipation)
If you experience these symptoms see your medical provider. These symptoms can also be related to other gastric disorders and even colon cancer.
In addition, IBS patients suffer from multiple comorbidities such as dyspepsia, fibromyalgia, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, interstitial cystitis, chronic fatigue, chronic back pain, insomnia, and headache/migraine. A strong association of psychiatric disorders occurs in IBS patients suggesting the role of psychological factors in the etiology of IBS.
Types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The pathophysiology and underlying mechanisms of IBS are not clearly understood. BS appears to be multi-factorial. Some factors thought to play a role in the development of IBS include infectious gastroenteritis, altered gut motility, inflammation, altered gut microbiome, hypersensitivity, altered gut immune responses, food intolerance, and dysregulated gut-brain axis.
There are three main types of IBS, which are based on stool formation. Although some patients will not fall into any of these three categories and will be “unclassified.”
Constipation-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Majority of stools are hard or lumpy
- Minority of stools are loose/mushy or watery
Diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Majority of stools are loose/mushy or watery
- Minority of stools are hard or lumpy
Mixed-Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Equal amount of loose/mushy and hard or lumpy stools