IBS Causes and Risk Factors
A Answers (8)
Millions of women suffer from frequent stomach aches, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. In this video, Dr. Oz explains what causes these problems and the keys to relief.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – also known as spastic colon, spastic colitis, mucous colitis and nervous or functional bowel – is an alteration with the way the nervous system and the gut interact. Often people have significant abdominal pain and cramping. Some people can have diarrhea while others have constipation, and some people can alternate between the two. Very often, stress can trigger an exacerbation of irritable bowel syndrome. Certain foods such as coffee, alcohol, spices, raw fruits, vegetables and milk, as well as infections, illnesses, and woman’s menstrual cycle can also be associated with flare-ups.
IBS is one of many functional symptom syndromes, composed of medically unexplained symptoms, which are “caused” by dysfunction of the mind/brain—body connection.
To explain the unexplainable and cause, look at the terms used here and then “see the big picture.”
LOOK AT TERMS
• Functional refers to how the body works.
• Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain or discomfort relieved after having a bowel movement and/or associated with diarrhea, constipation, or both.
• Symptom Syndromes are collections of medically unexplained symptoms. They are also known as functional somatic syndromes and chronic multisymptom illnesses. Nearly every specialty defines at least one syndrome. Examples include RHEUMATOLOGY (fibromyalgia), UROLOGY (interstitial cystitis/painful bladder and chronic prostatitis/painful prostate), and GASTROENTEROLOGY (irritable bowel syndrome and over 30 other functional gastrointestinal disorders, or FGIDs).
• Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) cannot be explained by medical tests, such as x-rays, endoscopies, and blood tests, because they are caused by dysfunction.
• Dysfunction is disturbance or “malfunction” of how the body works.
• Mind/Brain-Body Connection refers to how the mind/brain and body communicate and talk with one another.
SEE THE BIG PICTURE
MUS and symptom syndromes frequently overlap with one another and are commonly associated with and often attributed to stress, depression, anxiety, and/or panic. Medical and scientific research is showing how the mind/brain and body communicate and both how and why symptoms occur. One of the most important discoveries is that the central mind/brain can become sensitized to peripheral body pain and symptom signals. So these symptom syndromes are now being called, central sensitivity syndromes.
A new book, Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH!, written by this author with Thomas L Hudson MDiv JD, (StillHurtingFINDHEALTH.com), proposes a new unifying and holistic medical model of MUS and their related symptom syndromes as chronic disease, explains both how and why they occur, and shows what people can do to help themselves and work effectively with their caregivers.
DISEASE IS DYSFUNCTION, AND SYMPTOMS ARE THE EXPRESSION.
The cause of MUS and pain can be understood as disease/dysfunction, regardless of whether the symptoms are widespread (e.g., the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia) or localized to a specific area of the body (e.g., the abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction of irritable bowel syndrome).