any part of the digestive tract, including the stomach, colon, and esophagus.
What is IBS?
On the other hand, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a fairly common condition affecting 25-45 million Americans.
The primary cause is not understood, but symptoms occur when the muscles in the colon contract more readily than normal.
IBS may be triggered by hormones, stress, food, or other illnesses.
Symptoms of IBS include diarrhea, constipation, excess gas, abdominal pain, and unusually harder or looser bowel movements.
Treatments are available for IBS, and approximately 20-40% of all visits to gastroenterologists are due to IBS symptoms.
Rectal bleeding or unusually dark stool is not a symptom of IBS.
If you experience blood in your stool, you should seek medical evaluation as soon as possible. For more information, visit the Reporter’s Guide to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.