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Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome

M180/0125

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Credit

ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Irritable bowel syndrome. Computer artwork of the digestive tract ranging from normal (left) to irritable and painful (right), represented by the deformed shape and water ripples. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is also known as spastic colon or irritable colon syndrome. It causes abdominal pain and cramps, and irregular bowel habits such as constipation and diarrhoea. The condition is thought to be linked to anxiety and stress, which disturb involuntary muscle movement in the intestines. There is no cure, but laxatives, anti- diarrhoeal and anti-spasmodic drugs may help to alleviate the symptoms. Increasing the intake of fibre and water in the diet, and decreasing stress, are also recommended.

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