Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Facts

Quick GuideIBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Symptoms, Diet, Treatment

IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Symptoms, Diet, Treatment

What irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes and risk factors?

The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown. It is believed to be due to a number of factors, including alteration in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract motility, abnormal nervous system signals, increased sensitivity to pain, and food intolerances. The following are some risk factors thought to cause IBS:

  • Abnormal movements of the colon and small intestines (too fast or slow, or too strong)
  • Hypersensitivity to pain from a full bowel or gas
  • Food sensitivities, possibly caused by poor absorption of sugars or acids in food
  • Gastroenteritis, a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and intestines, may trigger IBS symptoms.
  • Psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression are observed in many people with IBS, though these conditions have not been found to be a direct cause of IBS.
  • Reproductive hormones or neurotransmitters may be off-balance in people with IBS.
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Genetics is thought to be a possible cause of IBS, but so far this hereditary link has not been proven.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/9/2016

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