Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

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Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, meaning it is a problem caused by changes in how the GI tract works. People with a functional GI disorder have frequent symptoms, but the GI tract does not become damaged. IBS is not a disease; it is a group of symptoms that occur together. The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort, often reported as cramping, along with diarrhea, constipation, or both. In the past, IBS was called colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, nervous colon, and spastic bowel. The name was changed to reflect the understanding that the disorder has both physical and mental causes and is not a product of a person's imagination. IBS is diagnosed when a person has abdominal pain or discomfort at least three times per month for the last 3 months without other disease or injury that could explain the pain. The pain or discomfort of IBS may occur with a change in stool frequency or consistency or may be relieved by a bowel movement. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Most people have mild symptoms. Symptoms are different from person to person. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating that have been present for at least 3 days a month for the last 3 months. The pain and other symptoms will often: Be reduced or go away after a bowel movement; Occur when there is a change in how often you have bowel movements; People with IBS may switch between constipation and diarrhea, or mostly have one or the other. People with diarrhea will have frequent, loose, watery stools. They will often have an urgent need to have a bowel movement, which may be hard to control. Those with constipation will have a hard time passing stool, as well as fewer bowel movements. They will often need to strain and will feel cramps with a bowel movement. Often, they do not release any stool, or only a small amount. For some people, the symptoms may get worse for a few weeks or a month, and then decrease for a while. For other people, symptoms are present most of the time. People with IBS may also lose their appetite.

Symptoms:

Laboratory Test Procedures:

abdominal pain
cramps
bloating of the abdomen with fluid
flatulence
fullness
diarrhea
constipation
an urge to have a bowel movement
feeling of stool urgency
problems controlling stools
switch between constipation and diarrhea or mostly have one or the other
mucus in the stool
loss of appetite
confusion
depression

Stool Culture
Cryptosporidium/Giardia DFA
WBC
Hemoglobin
Hematocrit
RBC
Basophil %
Basophil Absolute
ANCA/MPO/PR3 Antibodies
Vitamin B12
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