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Conditions InDepth: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem with the intestines. Belly pain and swelling, cramping, gas, changes in bowel movements are the most common problems.
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Causes of IBS
The cause is not known. It may happen due to:
- Infection or inflammation
- Changes in the normal bacteria of the intestines
- Eating certain foods
- Stress, anxiety, or depression
- Missing enzymes that breakdown certain sugars (rare)
Types of IBS
IBS types are based on what is causing the most problems:
Definition and facts for irritable bowel syndrome. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/definition-facts. Updated November 2017. Accessed August 26, 2019.
Ford AC, Lacy BE, Talley NJ. Irritable bowel syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(26):2566-2578.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113627/Irritable-bowel-syndrome-IBS. Updated September 10, 2018. Accessed August 26, 2019.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
- Review Date: 08/2019
- Update Date: 08/26/2019