Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disease that affects more than just the stomach. The brain and digestive tract work together to control your digestive system, with the help of the nervous system, hormones, and signals from the good bacteria in your stomach and intestines. IBS makes these signals go awry, leading to uncoordinated and painful spasms in the digestive tract. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome differ from person to person. There are three types of IBS, each with unique symptoms. The pain, not to mention the discomfort, people with IBS must deal with can be debilitating and detract from the quality of life.
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One common aspect of IBS is a fluctuation in type and severity of symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms increase, while other times they may fade away completely. This makes diagnosing IBS difficult. IBS is a chronic condition requiring long-term care management. Two of the most common symptoms of IBS are pain and cramping in the abdomen, often after eating. This symptom may be accompanied by diarrhea, bloating, and gas. People with IBS may also notice drastic changes in bowel movements, including blood and mucus in the stool.
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