This condition’s cause is unknown, although the symptoms of irritable bowel may be due to factors such as large meals, certain foods (dairy, cereals, citrus fruits, coffee) or medications, or stressful situations.
It is called irritable colon or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to the gastrointestinal disorder marked by a set of abdominal discomfort recurrent and alterations depositional habit, originating apparently in the last portion of the digestive tract, and for those who can not demonstrate an organic cause.
It is generally called irritable bowel, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis.
Several types of Irritable Bowel have been known since the Rome III classification, depending on the characteristics of the stool; and that they are not exclusive subgroups, but that evolutionarily they can pass from one type to another, thus, there is:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation
- IBS with diarrhea
- The Syndrome Irritable Bowel mixed – habit
- Unclassifiable IBS
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome with alternating routine over some time.
Who is affected by SSI and health consequences
Irritable bowel accounts for nearly 30% of outpatient gastroenterology diagnoses in Western societies. This disorder’s global prevalence is estimated between 10-15% of the western population, which is the most studied. It occurs more frequently in women (2.4% over 1.5% in men, approximately), and can be diagnosed in groups of all ages, especially in adults, although its incidence drops significantly above 65.
Although it is not a severe disease, suffering from irritable bowel does mean a significant decrease in the quality of life of those who suffer from it, mainly because it significantly limits their meals and social activities that revolve around this daily habit. It should be clarified that, with current knowledge, there is no evidence that it is a disease that modifies the life expectancy of the patient who suffers it or that it increases the risk of suffering from cancer.
It should be noted that, although its causes are not clearly defined, its appearance is associated with emotional disturbances, such as episodes of anxiety or stress. In this context, it is noteworthy that approximately one-third of patients with IBS suffer from fibromyalgia, 50% of patients with chronic fatigue suffer from IBS and coexist with other functional disorders such as biliary dyskinesia or non-ulcer dyspepsia. That is, they are interconnected to a greater or lesser extent with other diseases with chronic pain.
Causes of irritable bowel
Although the ultimate mechanism of irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) is not fully clarified today, some causes of irritable bowel that could explain its appearance are recognized:
- Genetic factors: in some research studies, first-degree relatives of patients with this disorder have been found, thus attributing a familial aggregation to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- Gastrointestinal motility disturbances: it has been observed that contractions in the colon and small intestine in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome are quantitatively different (very fast or slow) from those in healthy individuals. Patients in whom diarrhea predominates as a symptom present an accelerated transit in the small intestine or colon. In other patients in whom constipation predominates, a slow transit is observed. In most patients, an increase in contractions occurs in response to environmental stimuli, such as psychological stress or certain foods. The feeling of bloating is due to an abnormal transit of air along the digestive tract or the alteration of the intestinal bacterial fermentation processes that lead to increased gas production.
- Visceral hypersensitivity: these people have an exaggerated response to chemical or physical stimuli at the intestine level compared to healthy individuals. Likewise, there is certain parallelism with non-digestive stimuli at other levels. For example, they would express greater skin pain than stimuli that are not necessarily painful.
- Inflammatory or infectious causes: in some patients, it occurs after an infectious diarrhea episode ( gastroenteritis ). Some microorganisms such as Shigella or Campylobacter confer an increased risk of IBS after colitis due to one of them.
- Psychological causes: there seems to be a higher incidence of IBS in individuals with disorders such as anxiety and depression, those with a tendency to somatization, and people with a fear of developing cancer. Likewise, some studies have linked this syndrome with a history of suffering some type of previous psycho-affective trauma such as sexual abuse.
- Alterations of the intestinal microbiota or bacterial overgrowth: this fact is increasingly supported by some research and the therapeutic benefits of some antibiotics.