Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
What it is
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the intestines. While it can be quite painful, it doesn't damage the intestines and can often be controlled through diet, stress management, and medications.
Cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Who gets it
58 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women.
Treatment varies, depending on severity. Your doctor may suggest fiber supplements or laxatives, or medications that help control colon muscle spasms and reduce pain. Treatment may also include stress-reduction and relaxation techniques.
Dietary changes such as drinking lots of water and eating smaller meals can reduce symptoms. Keeping a food diary can help pinpoint which foods cause your symptoms, and a dietician can be helpful in developing beneficial eating habits.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome vs. Inflammatory Bowel Disease. What's the difference ?
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by a variety of common symptoms such as diarrhea, but it does not involve inflammation.
Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are associated with chronic inflammation.