Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a disorder of the GI tract that interferes with the normal functions of the colon. At various points in the past, IBS has been referred to as mucous colitis, spastic colon, irritable colon, or nervous stomach. IBS is generally described as a functional disorder rather than a disease per se. A functional disorder involves symptoms that cannot be attributed to a specific injury, infection, or other physical problem. A functional disorder occurs because of altered physiologic processes rather than structural or biochemical defects and may be subject to nervous system influence.

IBS is associated with frequent fluctuation in symptoms, loss of productivity, and decreased quality of life. Although IBS has been referred to as functional bowel dis ease, true functional bowel disease may be more indicative of widespread GI involvement including (but not limited to) the colon.

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