Health Conditions - For Everyone

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
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Causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

It is not currently known what exactly causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but there are known triggers which may increase incidence of the condition.

The following are triggers which could cause symptoms and precipitate this condition:

Bowel dysfunction (disordered motility)

Some people have a bowel which is either longer or shorter than normal and this causes the muscles in the bowel to be unable to contract properly and move food through the bowel.


Some experts believe that some people have an intolerance to simple carbohydrates (high GI carbohydrates) and artificial sweeteners and so when they ingest these type of carbohydrates, they are not digested and absorbed properly in the small intestines. When they travel to the large intestines, these undigested food particles are then fermented by the intestinal bacteria, which causes a great deal of gas (flatulence), bloating and discomfort as the bacteria are not able to properly digest these food particle and perform their function properly.


Gastrointestinal infection

Studies estimate that up to around 25% of all people who have IBS, do so after they experience a bacterial or viral infection of the bowel or stomach.


It is well known that stress has an adverse effect on the digestive system, mainly because stress causes the stress hormones to be released into the blood stream and this prevents proper digestion from occurring. Some theories link IBS with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, because symptoms of IBS get much worse during a flare-up in the mental health conditions.

Visceral hypersensitivity

Many experts believe that some people are just more aware of their body and their bowel in particular and so may have heightened sensitivity with the workings of their bowels which may be experienced as pain.


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  Last reviewed: 28 September 2008 || Last updated: 2 February 2009


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NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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