Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Syndrome of irritation of the intestine in humans Irritable bowel syndrome( IBS) is one of the most common diseases of the digestive system. Symptoms that are consistent with the diagnosis of this syndrome occur in 10-20% of adults. Women are sick 2 times more often than men. Irritable bowel syndrome is familial, since there is already the first evidence confirming the involvement of genetic changes in the occurrence of this problem.


  • 1 Symptoms
  • 2 Symptoms
  • 3 Treatment
    • 3.1 Diet
      • 3.1.1 General principles of the diet for irritable bowel syndrome:
    • 3.2 Drug therapy

Reasons for

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disease of the small and large bowel with symptoms such as pain in thestomach and abnormalities in the work of the intestines, which are not due to organic or biochemical changes. By organic means structural( anatomical) damages of the intestine, and under biochemical - defects in metabolic processes. The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not fully explained. The most important factors that play a role in the development of this disease include:

  • stress;
  • nervous tension;
  • food allergies;
  • infection;
  • is a harmful food habit;
  • hormonal changes;
  • frequent administration of antibiotics and some other medicines.

The motor action of the intestine, also called peristalsis, consists of an alternative relaxation and contraction of the musculature of the intestine, whereby the contents inside the body move in the direction from the stomach to the end of the colon. This process occurs unconsciously, and is under the strict control of the nervous and hormonal system. In irritable bowel syndrome, peristalsis is disturbed, which is manifested by a disorder of the stool - diarrhea or constipation.

Symptoms of

Symptoms of the disease vary depending on whether it passes with or without diarrhea. Common symptoms of both forms may include:

  • feeling of indigestion;
  • flatulence;
  • sprays and gurgling in the intestines;
  • stomach pain;
  • pain during bowel movement;
  • nausea;
  • back pain;
  • fatigue and weakness.

Misery and pain have varying intensity and location.

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome exhibit increased susceptibility of the gastrointestinal tract to various stimuli, especially mechanical ones. For example, patients experience acute bloating with a small amount of intestinal gas or a feeling of stool pressure even with a small filling of the rectum.

More than 50% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome who see a doctor have impairments in the field of mental disorders, most often anxiety and depression. They have an adverse effect on the severity of the course of the disease. Stress can increase discomfort, pain and prevent normal peristalsis.

In recent years, isolated the postinfective form of irritable bowel syndrome, which manifests itself several months after the transfer of intestinal infection, which is mainly the result of so-called food poisoning. This figure is approximately 10% of all cases of IBS.

Treatment of

There are two main aspects of the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: informing the patient about his illness and adherence to a diet. Informing is necessary in order to explain to the patient that his illness is mild and does not threaten serious complications and that a proper diet can alleviate the symptoms.


An important component of effective treatment of irritable bowel syndrome is a properly balanced diet. Depending on the form of IBS, it is necessary to exclude from the diet a number of specific products that can exacerbate the symptoms. Diet for the patient must be developed individually by a specialist doctor.

Depending on whether the problem of diarrhea or constipation is accompanied, the diet also differs. In the first case, it is more necessary to give preference to foods rich in dietary fiber, which help to get out easier food. In the second case, on the contrary, their number should be limited. More details below. But it should be remembered that any diet should be prescribed by a doctor.

Patients suffering from constipation are encouraged to consume foods high in fiber. Such products include, in the first place: whole wheat bread, whole wheat flour pasta, brown rice, and bran. From the second dishes it is recommended to abandon potatoes in favor of buckwheat and barley porridge. In addition, every meal should contain a portion of vegetables or fruits, which are not only an excellent source of vitamins and mineral salts, but also fiber, which has a beneficial effect on the digestive system. In the intestine, cellulose is not digested, not absorbed and improves its work. Binding water, it increases the volume of stool. In addition, fiber irritates the intestinal wall, due to this, increases the intestinal motility and thereby facilitates the excretion of stool. However, consuming a large amount of bran, it is necessary to consume more foods rich in iron( green plants, meat) and calcium( hard cheeses, milk), because phytic acid is present in them, prevents the absorption of these macroelements. Otherwise, anemia or osteoporosis may occur.

In case of diarrhea, foods that accelerate intestinal motility should be excluded from the diet. Do not eat too many foods rich in fiber. People with this type of disease should add to the diet wheat bread, white rice, small pasta, which is not so rich in coarse fiber( fiber).

Fruits and vegetables should be cooked or washed before use. Dishes should not contain spicy condiments( chili, paprika, ketchup, mustard, vinegar), as they increase the secretion of digestive juices, which irritate the intestines, increasing pain and malaise.

In both cases, not only the selection of the products used, but also the frequency of meals is important. It is important to eat at regular intervals, and meals should be small in volume, because irritable bowel disease is often exacerbated from too nourishing meals.

General principles of the diet for irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Consumption of sufficient water, at least 1.5 liters per day, in order to reduce susceptibility to constipation and digestive problems in one case, and in the other( in people with diarrhea) to prevent dehydration.
  • It is forbidden to eat fatty and fried foods, because they irritate the intestines, causing the disease to aggravate.
  • The consumption of strong coffee and tea should be limited.
  • Eating fruits can sometimes worsen a patient's condition, since the fructose contained in them can be fermented in the intestines, which can increase discomfort.
  • You should mainly eat cooked, cooked steamed or baked in foil.

Diet for irritable bowel syndrome should be developed individually, as very often a particular product can aggravate the symptoms of diseases in one person, and another person can feel good after eating it.

Drug Therapy

There are still unknown drugs that would be very effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome. However, drugs with spasmolytic action, laxatives and antiemetics, as well as antidepressants have found application.

The quality of doctor-patient relationships plays the greatest role in overcoming irritable bowel syndrome, as it is proved that a patient with IBS should believe in the effectiveness of the recommended therapy.