IBS Unraveled: Delving into the Etiology, Diagnosis, and Multifaceted Treatment Strategies


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a prevalent disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract, causing a range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. It’s important to seek advice from a healthcare professional to diagnose and manage IBS, as some of the symptoms can also be associated with other serious health conditions. It is important to know there are various management strategies such as dietary changes, stress management, and medication that can help alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals living with IBS. Let’s unravel all the information about IBS, its symptoms, causes and treatment.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a set of symptoms that negatively affect bowel movements in the gastrointestinal tract. It is a typical but unpleasant digestive disorder that affects the large intestine. It is characterised by a range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation. Its exact cause is not fully understood, however, IBS symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications, stress reduction techniques, exercise, and medication. In the case of IBS, it is important to seek a proper diagnosis and guidance from an expert.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) vary from person to person and can include the following:

    • Bloating
    • Diarrhoea
    • Constipation
    • Abdominal pain or cramping during bowel movements

IBS is a distinct condition emerging from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is a group of chronic conditions that cause inflammation in the digestive tract, including the stomach and intestines.
The most obvious sign of IBS is a change in bowel habits. This may mean having loose or hard stools more often than usual, or alternating diarrhoea and constipation.

What are the Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Although there is no specific cause of IBS, experts believe that it may be caused by a combination of physical, emotional, and lifestyle factors. These factors include stress, diet, and other lifestyle habits such as lack of physical activity, irregular sleep patterns, and certain medications. Additionally, some people with IBS may have a hypersensitive gut, which means their intestines are more sensitive to normal digestive processes, leading to discomfort and pain.

Other causes include:

    • Problem in muscle contraction of the GI tract
    • Affected brain-gut communication – Normally, the nerves and hormones of the digestive tract work together to tell the brain when food should pass from the stomach into the small intestine. When this system is out of balance, it can lead to uncoordinated and painful tension in the digestive tract.

Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

To diagnose IBS, there are a few tests that are listed below:

    • Blood Tests: This helps in ruling out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
    • Computed Tomography Test (CT scan): It provides images of the abdomen and pelvis which help doctors to find any tumours or intestinal blockages.
    • Colonoscopy:  Done with the help of inserting a small tube to investigate any signs of inflammation or other abnormalities.
    • Stool Tests: There are many ways to diagnose IBS, but the most common is a stool sample test. This test detects the presence of bacteria in the stool.

A biopsy is not usually needed unless there are suspicious signs or symptoms.

Treatment Options For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder and can cause many symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and pain. It is important to take the right IBS medication to manage the symptoms.
Treatment for IBS usually involves lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes, stress reduction and exercise. Let us find out more about it.

Lifestyle Changes For IBS

It includes:

    • Regular physical activity
    • Do not consume things that can trigger symptoms
    • Make sure to not skip meals
    • Avoid spicy or processed food
    • Get enough rest
    • Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet might reduce your constipation symptoms and make it easier for you to pass stools.
    • Drinking plenty of water can help with both constipation and diarrhoea.

Dietary changes can help, too. For example, some studies show that eating more soluble fibre — which is found in foods like apples, beans, and citrus fruits — can ease diarrhoea. Other dietary changes include eating smaller portions and avoiding spicy or fatty foods.

Medications for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Other treatments may include medications such as antidiarrheal medications or antidepressants, as well as psychological treatments such as counselling or hypnotherapy.

    • Laxative – Taking a laxative or psyllium supplement can also help control diarrhoea and constipation. Psyllium is a natural vegetable fibre that dissolves in water and makes a gel-like substance.
    • Antispasmodic medicines – Antispasmodic medicines, such as dicyclomine and hyoscyamine, can also relieve bloating and pain in the stomach and intestines. These medicines can be prescribed by a doctor.
    • Psychological therapy – Psychological therapy can also be helpful. It teaches you how to control your fears and change your thoughts about IBS.

Using techniques that promote relaxation and meditation can be effective. You can learn these in a variety of forms, from yoga to deep breathing.

Risk Factors Related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

There are several risk factors associated with IBS. Here are a few side effects that happen due to negligence in treatment or self-care.

    • Overeating
    • Stress
    • Severe gastrointestinal infection
    • Medication side effects
    • Intense anxiety and depression
    • Food sensitivity

When to Consult a Doctor

You can also get in touch with the expert Gastroenterology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.


It is important to speak with the doctor in case of any Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. This condition can be treated with medication and lifestyle modifications suggested by an expert. It’s always advisable to take early steps in treatment and prevention for desirable and quick recovery. Stay healthy & happy!

Reach out to experts at Narayana Health. Get quick medical support, complete care and state-of-the-art facilities!


Q. What is IBS?
A. IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. It’s a chronic condition that causes abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and changes in bowel habits.

Q. What are the symptoms of IBS?
A. The symptoms of IBS include

    • Diarrhoea
    • Abdominal pain or cramping
    • Bloating
    • Constipation

Q. How is IBS diagnosed?
A. IBS can be diagnosed through CT scan, colonoscopy, stool tests, biopsy, and endoscopy, but biopsy and endoscopy are usually not necessary.

Q. What are the treatment options for IBS?
A. Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) usually involves lifestyle changes such as dietary changes, medication, stress reduction techniques and exercise. Medications such as antidiarrhoeal drugs or antidepressants can help in the treatment of IBS.

Q. How can I manage my IBS symptoms?
A. The symptoms of IBS, such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea, can make your daily life difficult. But the good news is that there are many ways to effectively treat the symptoms of IBS. The first step to managing your IBS symptoms is to identify the triggers that cause them. Once you have identified these triggers, it is best to avoid them or limit your intake.

A healthy diet is also crucial for managing IBS symptoms. Eating smaller meals throughout the day and avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks can help prevent these uncomfortable outbreaks.


    • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
    • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921083/
    • https://www.narayanahealth.org/blog/irritable-bowel-syndrome/
    • https://www.healthline.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome
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