Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ) is a chronic condition that include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation or both that persist for two months or longer. It is considered a brain-gut disorder because it affects the way the stomach and intestine sense , and is modulated by the brain.

IBS, also known as spastic colon, colitis, nervous colon and spastic bowel is the most common cause of recurrent abdominal pain in children: 10% to 15% of children have IBS at some point. It is one of the pain predominant functional gastroinettsinal disorders. It can cause a decrease in quality of life, emotional suffering or embarrassment and disrupt a child’s life and activities.

IBS is a real condition, but is not characterized by severe inflammation of the intestine (like inflammatory bowel disease IBD) and is not an early warning of cancer or another ubnderlying GI condition. Stress can trigger the symptoms but not cause IBS on its own.

Types of IBS

Experts have classified IBS into three categories, depending on the symptoms:

  • IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
  • IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)
  • IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M)

Health care providers need to know what type of IBS a child has so they can make appropriate treatment decisions.

How we care for irritable bowel syndrome

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition has over 50 pediatric board certified physicians to help identify the root cause of your child’s pain. If the diagnosis is IBS, our team can provide the right treatment plan and offer your child support services. For severe cases we gave a specialized program (functional abdominal pain program) that povides multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment.