Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the bowel that may include the symptoms of bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and cramps over an extended period of time. The intensity of these symptoms can range from mildly irritating, to altogether disabling. In contrast to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, there is no physical change noted in the digestive tract with IBS. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 1 in 5 Americans have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, though women are affected by IBS three times more often than men.
There is not a single clear reason as to what causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome as it generally has a number of intertwined causes. Almost all mainstream medical institutions declare that there is no known cause for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They speculate that it may arise as a result of stress or diet, with the symptoms of IBS usually beginning around age 20.
Some believe that one major cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome could be heavy metal toxicity, particularly from mercury dental amalgams. Others suggest that IBS may occur from overuse of antibiotics, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies (particularly a lack of magnesium), and/or chronic fungal infection, such as Candida. IBS may also stem from hypercoagulability, or thick blood, a circulatory disorder that lowers the blood flow to the small and large intestines.
Additional Information about Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Common causes of irritable bowel syndrome
- Help me choose a natural and alternative treatment for irritable bowel syndrome
- Dietary and lifestyle recommendations that may help in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
- Conventional or prescription medications used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
- Additional reading for irritable bowel syndrome