irritable%20bowel%20syndrome
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common chronic gastrointestinal condition characterized by abdominal pain and bloating with altered bowel habits.
There are no identifiable physical, radiologic or lab abnormalities indicative of organic disease.
Symptoms may be exacerbated by stress, alcohol or food.

Definition

  • A common chronic GI condition characterized by abdominal pain and bloating with altered bowel habits

Signs and Symptoms

Chronic Abdominal Pain
  • Patient may describe pain as crampy in nature with variable intensity and periodic exacerbations
  • Location and character of pain may vary
  • Defecation often provides relief
Altered Bowel Habits
  • Diarrhea, constipation, alternating diarrhea and constipation or normal bowel habits alternating with either diarrhea and/or constipation
Other GI Symptoms
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, dysphagia, early satiety, intermittent dyspepsia, nausea, noncardiac chest pain
Extraintestinal Symptoms
  • Urinary frequency and urgency, sexual dysfunction, fibromyalgia, dyspareunia, poor sleep, menstrual difficulties, lower back pain, headaches, chronic fatigue and insomnia
  • The more extracolonic symptoms, the greater likelihood of having severe IBS

Alarm Symptoms

  • Age ≥50 years old
  • Short duration of symptoms
  • Nocturnal symptoms
  • Hematochezia, occult blood in the stool
  • Weight loss >4.5 kg
  • Family history of colon cancer, ovarian cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac sprue, recurring fever
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Recent medication use (antibiotics)
  • Abdominal or rectal mass
  • Ascites
  • Inflammatory markers for inflammatory bowel disease
  • More loose or more frequent stools or both, persisting for >6 weeks in an individual >60 years old

Other Signs & Symptoms

Other signs or symptoms that may lead the clinician to perform routine diagnostic tests:
  • History of travel to locations with endemic parasitic diseases
  • Family history of IBD
  • Arthritis or skin findings on physical exam
  • Signs or symptoms of malabsorption
  • Signs or symptoms of thyroid dysfunction
Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS Gastroenterology - Malaysia digital copy today!
Sign In To Download
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
17 May 2018
Patients with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection have a significantly increased risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), results of a recent meta-analysis have shown.
24 Apr 2017

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is associated with conditions such as gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastric cancer, and certain types of lymphoma. A common presenting complaint among all these H. pylori-related illnesses is dyspepsia. Dr Desmond Wai from the Desmond Wai Liver and Gastrointestinal Diseases Centre, Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, Singapore, speaks on the important role general practitioners (GPs) play in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating H. pylori.