JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Irritable bowel syndrome. Illustration depicting irritable bowel syndrome. The red structure is an abnormal large intestine (colon), in parts disten- ded or constricted. Nerves controlling involuntary muscle movement in the colon are shown in yellow. Arrows show the direction of flow of faeces. The larger blue structure is a normal human colon. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common complaint of unknown cause. Symptoms include pain and irregular bowel habits, including bouts of constipation and diarrhoea. The condition is thought to be linked to anxiety and stress, which disturb involuntary muscle movement in the colon. There is no cure although laxatives may help to relieve symptoms.
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