Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is common in our community. Many people have recurring gastrointestinal symptoms that can be attributable to IBS. Your bowels are intimately related to what happens in your life and changes in the stress levels, travel and diet often lead to an alteration of bowel function. Common symptoms include abdominal bloating, colicky pain, diarrhoea or constipation and intermittent mucous discharge.
Spasm of the pelvic floor muscles causing rectal pain can also occurs in patients with IBS.
Your doctor may organise a gastroscopy or colonoscopy to rule out other causes of these symptoms, such as bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases or other infections or food allergies.
Treatment is often just reassurance that no serious underlying pathology exists. Some symptoms may be treated with antispasmodics, or fibre. Trial and error if often required, as not all patients respond to the same management. Antianxiety medication or counselling is sometimes required.